My Journey

Riversdad.....first off, thanks for the feedback.....I appreciate it. It's really not a big deal to pick up the trash but what is a big deal is to actually throw out the trash. I'm just amazed at the amount of trash that people throw out so randomly. Yesterday I watched about a half dozen young guys on motocross bikes just trashing the desert plants as they jumped their motorcycles over and through the sand dunes. After they departed, they left cans and bottles, chip bags, and burrito packaging. Their trucks were parked a few feet away. How is that people think this is acceptable ?

Trailboss.....that's interesting.....the poor guy could barely fly.....

PNWY / ITTOG.....that's also interesting.....Concerning the diesel, yep, there's always been plenty of diesel fuel but the issue is the availability of the low sulfer diesel being available.....you know, the stuff the newer trucks require (ULSD).....



Well once again we've slowed down and find ourselves just hanging out in one general area.....no traveling. So this post will not be one of the typical posts you're accustomed to seeing here.....it's just something I'm thinking about.....

In January, 2015 I purchased my first Fitbit and that purchase has been life changing.....I can honestly say that. The first year I had the Fitbit I lost more than 20 pounds and walked over 4,000 miles. Subsequently I would exceed 4,000 miles walked in both 2016 and 2017. Last week I surpassed 4,000 miles walked for the fourth straight year, and have exceeded 17,000 miles walked in the past 4 years. This past summer I was telling someone how much I walked (and how much I enjoyed it), and their response was that I needed to get a life. I don't recall my response at the time, but I believe it's walking that helps me to stay healthy and fit.....and it's walking that continues to give me a good life.....and I'm so thankful for that.....

Anyhow, check this out (or not).....the first pair of my boots pictured I'd guess have about 3,000 miles on them.....

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The next pair maybe 1,000 miles.....

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And the last pair just came out of the box.....

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I always have at least two pair of boots broken in and usually will be working on breaking in a third.....good boots are vital to me.....

Lately we've been doing quite a bit of walking in the desert and what I've noticed is that nobody else seems to be doing it (although I do see people on some of the marked trails).....

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I rarely see human footprints.....I do see the tracks of animals and insects.....

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But I'm often not alone in the desert. I'll see people riding their dirt bikes, or I'll see people riding in their ATVs. Motorcycle tire tracks and ATV tire tracks are so abundant in the desert....

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Footprints not so much.....that one is mine.....it's on an ATV track of course.....

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I was walking in the desert a few days ago and I stopped at this tree. It really was amazing to see the little world that had developed around it. I took the time to study it....you notice these things when you're walking.....

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Two nights ago I was wandering around in the desert at night with my headlamp when I saw these eyes glaring at me in the darkness. It turned out to be a Desert Kit Fox and he was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me but they look like this (borrowed from the internet).....

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https://www.desertusa.com/animals/kit-fox.html

The little guy (they're only 12 inches high) hung with me for maybe 10 minutes. He came within 3 feet of me and he did it often.....his curiousousity was hard to believe and the encounter was such a pleasure......things you see walking.....

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So, moving on..... I read an online article this morning that said that the average American male weighs 198 pounds and has a BMI of 29.1. The average American woman weighs 170 pounds and has a BMI of 29.6. 30 and up is considered obese. Approximately one third of Americans are overweight and another third are obese. It appears that soon the average American will be obese.....

What does this have to do with travel ? Nothing.....

All I'm saying is that walking is good.....and I wish more people saw the benefits of it.....
 
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ROKTAXI

Adventurer
Jerry, liked your "essay" re: walking. I walk 3 - 4 miles with my 3 YO Border Collie / Black lab mix, Maggie Mae, EVERY day. Not for the exercise so much, but mostly for enjoyment. I love seeing Maggie enjoying it more than I do. She's an off-leash dog, even on the occasion we walk "around the block" in inclement weather. Weather and other factors permitting, it includes cross-country hiking which is less than 15 minutes from home. *Feeling blessed* 20160306_073716.jpg
 

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
I fully agree that some form of regular exercise keeps one young and fit. For me it’s mountain biking. But I also do lots of cross country skiing and kayaking in season. I hike some but usually only when I’m in a no-bikes area or after dinner walks.

My dog accompanies me on all my journeys no matter the mode of transportation. Like Roctaxi said, watching her have fun adds to my enjoyment.



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ITTOG

Active member
Yes walking does wonders for the body. You didn't mention it but I bet it even helps you mentally. I am more of a runner and at times I think the mental rejuvenation is better than the physical. Walking, running, hiking, whatever your active passion is has more benefits then most understand. With all the travel you do the walking is probably invaluable.

Thanks for letting us in on your travels. Love the updates. Merry Christmas to you and all your readers.

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Trailboss

Observer
While I don't doubt you do a massive amount of hiking/walking, as evidenced by your daily posts, the anal scientist/engineer in me wonders if you have calibrated your fitbit against a known distance? 4000 miles a year comes to almost 11 miles a day, every day, which would be a little more than 3 hours at the average brisk walking pace of 3.5 mph. At any rate, you have a solid baseline established to compare your monthly and annual activity, and I'm envious of your hiking venues.
 
ROKTAXI.....great dog pic and "feeling blessed" is an excellent way to put it and I know what you mean.....

Ace.....and yet another great dog picture ! Hey, if you're willing while you're in Mexico during fuel stops, do you think you could ask about the availability of ULSD ? They call it something else there but I don't recall the name.....

ITTOG.....Merry Xmas ! There was actually another online article that I read about a recent study that was done with a bunch of 65 year olds that had a "mental age" of 93. After 6 months of either cycling or walking they were able to reduce their "mental age" by 9 years.....

Trailboss.....so I've calibrated my Fitbit several times. Once I did it on a track and several times just using the odometer. Surprisingly (?) it's been fairly accurate. And yea I put a lot of time in and on travel days it can be difficult, and that's a large part of the reason I seldom go far on any given day. My total miles so far this year is 4,177.93 which is a daily average of 11.80 miles. The only time I question it's accuracy is when I'm hiking in the mountains. I've noticed that it will calculate more miles when ascending than it will when descending (i.e. it could be 5 miles to the summit and only 4 miles back to the truck for example). In my brain it averages itself out but who knows. That being said, if it wasn't measuring correctly, it could go both ways.....maybe I'm walking 5,000 miles annually !?!

On a very serious note, some years back I took antibiotics at the tail end of one of my trips. I had a severe reaction within 48 hours, and I had some really weird side effects, some of which even made it difficult for me to walk. My life turned into a living hell. My doctor said I was nuts, said it was not the antibiotics, and put me on brain medications. I finally got off the prescribed medications (against his advice) but I had been sick for 9 months. It was much worse than dealing with the cancer for me. Now I'm pretty much a fanatic about walking and my health.....

So now we walk, and walk, and walk.....

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Mccaf

Observer
Hey Jerry, happy holidays to you and the boys. I really appreciate reading your adventures.
You have the gift that keeps on giving here!
 
ROKTAXI.....I believe that Ed White is the guru on ULSD in Mexico and he seems to say that as well. It'd be nice to hear from someone else with first hand information. Also I'm not a Facebook user.....

Mccaf.....I like it ! What a great way to say it.....thanks for posting and following along. I really do enjoy the feedback. Thank you.....


Lake Havasu City, Arizona would be our next stop as we continued our trek south down Highway 95.....following that nice weather.....

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Now I've been through this town a few times before but never had much interest in stopping here in the past. But this time would be different.....way different actually. People I had camped with told me I had to at the very least see the London Bridge (originally constructed from 1176 to 1209). The story of how this bridge came here from England is really quite remarkable. The short story is that Robert McCulloch bought the bridge in 1968 for $2,460,000, had it dismantled and shipped to California, and then trucked to Lake Havasu City where it was reconstructed, and I have to tell you, it's prerty darn cool.....some people sure do think outside the box.....

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I also have a friend that's looking to buy a home here so when I told her I was here she asked me to look around and tell her what I thought. Overall my first impression wasn't great, but I'll tell you this town can grow on you.....if you give it time. Lots of old people this time of year.....they say the town swells from 55,000 to over 100,000 during the winter when the Snowbirds arrive (by the way I sure do despise being called one but everyone doesn't feel that way).....

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Here's a picture of a snowbird in Lake Havasu City. That's probably a half million dollar rig right there.....

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Anyhow after visiting the London Bridge, we headed down to the developed lakeside and canal just below to walk along the shoreline. I just hate places that don't allow dogs.....

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I tried another route.....another no go.....

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With the dogs in the truck, I went to explore alone. It seems that every tree and bench in this public area has a small monument attached to it.....

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At first I found it to be very odd.....it was like I had entered a cemetery almost. But then it started to grow on me, just like Lake Havasu City would. This one resonated with me.....

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There was a little of everything and there were a whole lot of these monuments. This one brought a tear to my eye (and still does). This family still honors their 10 year old daughter that died in 1994. Here it is over 20 years later and they've decorated it for the Christmas holidays.....I can't even imagine the pain.....

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There's one more thing that Lake Havasu City seems to be well known for.....they've constructed 25 lighthouses along the shoreline of the lake and each lighthouse is a replica of a lighthouse from somewhere in the United States. I photographed just the one.....that's plenty I think.....

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Now I never knew about any of this stuff in the past and I was kind of liking it, so I decided that I needed to hang around and check this place out a bit more.....it's not a bad town.....and I started thinking.....could I live here (winter only of course) ?
 
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chet6.7

Explorer
Remember,it's a dry heat.:)
The April boat show has some fast machines,and the tow vehicles are out of my price range too.

 
Chet.....beautiful ! And yes it's a very dry heat and that dry heat sure does feel good.....


Now we needed a place to spend a few nights so we drove a few miles south of town and found ourselves a place on a rather bleak piece of BLM land.....

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I wasn't feeling real good about this place.....it seemed like people here weren't travelers but were here for the winter (just my opinion). We slept here for 4 nights and always left in the morning, returning late in the evening.....

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But here we met an adventurous couple from Alaska that told me about an excellent spot to hike. So hiking was next.....

The first hike would take us back to the Colorado River, this time being just south of Lake Havasu City......

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Now this is an area that attracts quite a few hikers, and many of these hikers find themselves off trail as they descend the wash which means that there are trails everywhere. I've hiked here quite a bit now and I swear I'm never on the same trail. This picture pretty much illustrates what I'm speaking of.....

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At one point while actually on a trail (but the wrong one) I found myself having to lower Yukon down portions of the steep canyon. When we came to the rope I knew it was time to find a new route.....

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Back on the correct trail now, things were looking much better.....

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After nearly 4 miles of hiking, the Colorado River was within our sights.....

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The dogs were well rewarded for their efforts.....

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I only wished that I too could have taken a dip. I sat on the shoreline and took it all in.....

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Another nice hike in the same general area is the trail to the summit of Lizard Peak (1,380').....

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There's a few different routes to the summit.....Tanner scaled this 8' high wall but not knowing what lied ahead I decided to turn around and look for another route.....

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Our alternative route had us circle around the mountain and ascend from the back (west) side.....

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The views were pretty amazing looking west into California.....

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We continued up the mountain.....

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There's a picnic table on the summit and I've heard people call the mountain Tabletop Mountain.....

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Lake Havasu City lies to the east.....

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We've been up here a few times now. I don't tire of it.....

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It had now been 8 days hanging around the general vicinity of Lake Havasu City, Arizona.....4 days north of town and 4 days south of town, therefore I decided that it was time to move on. Stocked up on groceries and just as I was about to leave town, I glanced to the west and saw a group of campers parked in the desert.....maybe a mile out as the crow flies. I had to check this spot out before I left town and once I did my thoughts were that I'd probably like this spot. We moved in.....

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This land is owned by the Arizona State Land Trust and a permit (fee) is required. It seems as though most people aren't into the whole pay to camp thing (me included) so the turnover is high here.....people sneak in for a night or two without getting the permit hoping not to get caught (the sheriff was here yesterday checking for permits) and then move on to the free BLM land (I believe this anyhow).....

The Christmas holidays can be a lonely time when spent traveling alone so I decided to spend Christmas Eve at the London Bridge (huge tourist area) where it seemed likely that there would be many people (strangers) to mingle with.....

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I have no trouble meeting new people due to my travel companions. They are conversation starters. We had an excellent day browsing shops and walking around doing not a whole heck of a lot. The Christmas lights were beautiful radiating off of the Colorado River.....

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The entire area of the London Bridge is lit up for the holidays.....

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That day I also discovered that this place is much more dog friendly than I first thought. I posted "no dogs" pictures previously but it turns out that one side of the river (canal) is dog friendly while the other is not. So you can't always trust the first impressions is the lesson to once again be learned.....

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I don't think I've ever mentioned how much the dogs love visiting Petsmart (the favorite) and PETCO. There's a Petsmart thats about a 1.5 walk mile away from the campsite which we visit often. Tanner just couldn't figure out why those automatic doors wouldn't open on Christmas day.....

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I really enjoyed our new found campsite but once again the trash issue raised its ugly head. It seems as though every ravine is littered with trash, and many of the desert shrubs have trash stuck to their branches or embedded in the sand around its base. Therefore Christmas day was spent ridding the desert of some of its blight.....

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That day we collected 97 pounds of trash including a tire, and the following day we dumped it all at the local Toyota dealership.....nice guys that didn't charge me for the tire ! Two days later we picked up 56 more pounds of trash which were dumped at the local Tractor Supply.....more nice guys ! Businesses seem to love people that pick up trash. I ALWAYS am well received when I arrive with loads of trash.....

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Check out the one bag in the next image. Some off road enthusiasts dumped this from their ATV yesterday. What's interesting about this bag is what is printed on the bag....."Keep Lake Havasu Beautiful.....Pack It In / Pack It Out".....

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Will it ever change ?

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