My Journeys

Grenadiers.....Mexico is still be on the radar for me but each day it becomes less likely. I've been waiting on a Mexican insurance agent that I dealt with previously to provide me with a "special price" on my truck camper as the rates I'm being quoted are fairly high on the entire rig. And yes, I'm very aware of the harsh winters up north which is why I am here.....

ITTOG.....I appreciate the offer for sure but it's not a lack of knowledge (surprisingly) that caused this issue but just a lack of getting it done. Regarding that road atlas, it has nearly 15 years of travel notes scribbled amongst the pages. I know of a few people that have expressed interest in having it once my days are done.....

ROKTAKI.....I almost bought one at the Verizon store the same day that I bought the phone, but being wise with the penny I decided to wait to buy it at Walmart and unfortunately out of sight, out of mind.....

Furbucket....I like that but I don't see a way to remove the cover to wash it. Am I correct ? My system isn't fancy but the blankets are removable and go into the wash.....


The following morning I had hoped to be up early with a plan in my mind to launch one of my kayaks into the lake and paddle the few miles to the London Bridge so that I too could take it all in from yet another vantage point. That plan was squashed when I awoke with dogs nuzzled on either of my sides.....I was just too happy to move.....

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Eventually we made it to the lake and caught the sun rising over the calm lakes surface.....

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It was looking to be a great day to watch the balloons in the sky.....

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As you can easily see, the details of the Darth Vader balloon were quite amazing.....

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My favorite, and it seems a crowd favorite as well, the zebra balloon returned once again.....

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This day was much like the previous day as he began the descent to the waters surface of the canal.....

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And then he would drag that wicker basket across the water.....

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I also liked the Mexican skull art on the New Mexico balloon.....

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Eventually I would make my way down to the walkway along the canal in my attempt to view the balloons from a boaters point of view.....

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I thoroughly enjoyed my first balloon festival and they tell me that this was the largest showing of balloons yet for Lake Havasu City. The weather was excellent as well so what more could you ask for.....

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But now the time had finally come to move on and further south.....to find me a quite place in the desert to enjoy a bit of solitude.....
 
Love the balloons!
Regarding Mexico, I've been hearing lots of stories of increased violence since El Chapo was taken out of power. Do you feel it's safe to travel down there now?
 
Hopefully you are able to recover some of the lost images. She is good, those pups sure are cute!

We have a balloon festival about 50 miles from here, I should find time to make it. Those pictures were pretty cool.

Any tips or tricks, you have for the dogs in the back seat? When the camper is on, it is Cordels new spot; he has adapted to seat dog quickly. This is the first time ive had a dog inside, so am learning. I did click the child lock up on that side, just in case he was able to unlock and open it...that would be bad.

I finally got my thread done, from this years South America trip.

Happy Trails & Safe Travels.
PNY, we travel with a yellow lab in our F250 crewcab. We used to have a wood platform, a a hammock and her bed and water. Got rid of the heavy wood and store stuff on the floor under the hammock. She gets in using a dog ramp. Sarah loves to travel. Longhorn
 
PNWY.....that it is.....

Clay.....maybe it is and maybe it isn't. The people of Mexico are amazingly friendly and I've not had much issue while visiting there. I guess you just never know what your future holds. In my travels over the years, the only country where I couldn't get comfortable was China. There was just something about that place.....

JD.....traveling dogs.....the best.....

Mccaf.....yep, I've been reading a few of those articles but I haven't seen any reports like that around Baja. As late as its got into the season of traveling south, Baja would be my only area of travel. It's been a crazy story with Mexico as of late.....fuel shortages, caravans, threats of closing the border, increasing murder numbers, and it seems to go on and on.....

I enjoyed hiking so much at Sara Park that I decided to swing by for one last hike before moving on. When I first heard the name Sara Park, it brought visions of a small community park to my mind but Sara Park is far from that. It encompasses 1,100 acres of mostly undeveloped, mountainous desert land just south of Lake Havasu City. Anyhow, there we were, all 3 of us this time, hiking up and down the foothills and just having a blast. One little hill had a stone cairn on top so I got a picture of Yukon on her summit.....not sure how many more of these we will see together as she continues to age and deals with the pains of old age.....

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And then we were back on the road looking for some free BLM land to spend the night. On our first attempt at a campsite we parked close to what appeared to be a burned out travel trailer. Within minutes of parking, a skinny, bearded guy that appeared to be covered in soot jumped out of the trailer screaming profanities, then jumped into his old truck which was parked behind the trailer, and then began to do figure eights in the gravel. Then a fat woman that also appeared to be covered in soot exits the travel trailer screaming and jumping up and down (my guess is that it was either her adrenaline flowing or the illegal drugs in her system that enabled her to jump up and down the way she did.....yes she was that big). This was a scene right out of HBOs Breaking Bad. I watched in disbelief as they beat on the truck, the trailer, and each other. I decided to camp elsewhere and drove south. God help them.....

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Our next attempt at a campsite would turn out to be our Shangri-La.....

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I left the highway and drove east toward the foothills along a sandy BLM roadway and we found ourselves a spot far enough from the highway to escape the sounds of the traffic driving north and south. I was loving our new place in the desert.....

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Sleep was so restful that night.....everything about this place seemed perfect. The following morning we set out early as we hiked east along an ATV trail where we came across a dozen pallets someone had dumped in the desert.....firewood ! We returned with the Jeep.....

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.....and loaded up for our first fire in ages.....

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The weather was perfect that day.....like I said previously, this was indeed our Shangri-La.....

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Wood from an old pallet doesn't make the prettiest firewood in the world but after it has sat in the dry desert heat for who knows how long I doubt anything could burn any better.....

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I needed a place like this campsite....a place where the dogs could run wild, where nobody was camped nearby, a place that allowed us to enjoy the desert solitude.....

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I had planned to stay a night but those plans changed so quickly.....

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Furbucket.....sometimes I sure do see some unusual stuff on the road.....

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The desert is a crazy place and I can't quite figure out my relationship with it. At the moment, it's good.....as a matter of fact.....it's very, very, good.....

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We've had some absolutely amazing skies.....sunrises and sunsets that are consistently off the charts beautiful.....some just so remarkably beautiful that they're hard to believe. I always thought that Montana had the best skies.....it's called the Big Sky Country.....but I have to tell you Arizona skies rock.....

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The skies changed on our third day camped here in the desert as the rain storms began to move through.....

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And the landscape changed right before our eyes.....

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I could watch the heavy fog roll up the slopes from the Colorado River, then encompass us, and then continue east into the foothills.....

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We hiked with the fog and drizzle as it rolled upward toward the foothills.....it was sensational. The desert plants seem to come to life as they were cleansed of the dust and pollens that they were covered in.....and the smells of the desert plants were all intensified. Eventually the plants seemed to be glistening.....it was quite a special day for a hike.....

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It rained all night.....and I mean it really rained hard, and it lingered into the following day. The storm left nearly an inch of rain.....they say it was a near record rainfall for a place that averages less than 4 inches per year. The skies cleared late the following day.....

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And it was time to explore once again.....

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We hiked.....and we explored.....and we did it all day long. The rains left a few pools of water in the wash which were great for the dogs.....what a pleasant surprise that was to find. It was close by here that I saw several jackrabbits.....the only wildlife we've spotted in this area. And now I've named our camp.....it's Camp Shangri-la. It's going to be tough to eventually leave this place.....we like it here a lot.....

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Azken.....thanks. No doubt you're familiar with the creosote bush here in the desert. I understand that some people like their smell (including me) while others not so much. I was amazed how the rains enhanced their smell. It truly was an incredible transformation.....

Another interesting plant here in the desert is the well known Saguaro cactus. There aren't too many this far north so I guess that its rarity is possibly what makes it even more interesting to me at this time.....

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So I was out hiking when I saw this somewhat large one that was maybe 30 feet tall (I've read that they grow over 40 feet in height), I decided to make the hike to it to check it out more closely.....

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I was quite surprised to see that this one had this massive birds nest within its arms. From the location of the nest a bird could see for miles.....actually to the surface of the Colorado River far below. It was pretty darn cool.....

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At that moment I was wishing so bad that I had a ladder handy as I couldn't believe how curious I was. There appeared to be bones lying on top of the nest but it was hard to know for sure. What a great find.....

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Of course I searched the ground below it and I found this.....

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For the life of me I'm not certain as to what is.....

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Maybe a baby bird that fell from the nest ?

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What an amazing day.....

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With perfect skies and perfect weather.....

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PNWY.....I too thought that initially but when I looked more closely I changed my mind. I think photo one is a birds head and beak, and then photo two are birds legs (it appears that those are tiny bones protruding from the skin maybe), and photo three I haven't a clue (and maybe I haven't a clue on photo one and two as well.....I just don't know).

ITTOG.....I'm actually not a fan of drones. I've had them fly over me during my wanderings and they just bother me to be quite honest. I guess I feel like my privacy is being invaded or someone is watching me from above, and that thought just gets my blood flowing.....

So the dogs and I are liking this place so much that I continue to delay my departure although there is another event upcoming that I plan to attend soon so we can't stay forever. I find myself spending my days in the foothills to the east, and these foothills I've given a name as well (don't ask me what's up with naming stuff here as I have no idea) and I call it "The Land of One Thousand Tiny Peaks" as it's just riddled with peaks as small as maybe 30 feet in height and rising upwards from there....

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Typically it's just me and the dogs out there and I'll see not another person but on a rare occasion I'll notice a wanderer.....

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And possibly they'll have a friend.....

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The ATVs are here everyday but not near in the large numbers that I've seen elsewhere.....

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The washes are filled with ATV and dirt bike tracks and man seems to love building rock cairns on some of the tiny peaks as well.....

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It would appear that the birds of prey have utilized this one quite often.....

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It would be difficult for me to ever get bored wandering in this area. One can step from one peak to the next and the rock and even the plant life can be entirely different.....

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I find myself constantly saying to myself "Oh look at those rocks. I gots to go see them" and off I go. The dogs could care less where we go as they are constantly on the search for game......

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I often like to say that when my dogs get into my truck they don't care if we're going to Walmart or Alaska cause it just doesn't matter.....

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Most days end as they begin.....sensational skies.....

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ITTOG

Active member
I definitely understand how you feel about drones.

The pictures with the people in the distance almost looks like they are translucent/ghosts. Cool pictures as always.
 
ITTOG.....thanks. I find it ironic that so many things created by man are so annoying while most everything created by nature are so soothing.....

Speaking of things that are created by nature that are soothing, here's some desert plants and a butterfly that I've photographed while in the "Land of a Thousand Tiny Peaks".....

Some days these little guys are everywhere.....

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Often I see them on the yellow flowers of the Brittlebush. I've recently posted pictures of this plant but here's the flower they love.....

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Several other desert flowers are currently blooming here.....

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Of course I know nothing about desert plants and it showed clearly when I was curious why all of these plants appeared to be dead or dying.....

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Then there were two consecutive days where the afternoon temperatures reached into the lower 70s. On the afternoon of the second day I saw the transformation of a plant taking place.....

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I couldn't tell if it's a large berry or a future flower, but that red was incredibly vibrant and maybe that's all I needed to know.....

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And here's another plant that I'm unable to figure out. Pictured below is the green branch of the Palo Verde tree which is a fairly common tree in this desert environment but the berries you see aren't a part of the Palo Verde tree but they seem to be a plant thats hijacked the tree and it actually roots itself into the branches.....it's really an amazing thing to see.....

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