My Journeys

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. The Palo Verde tree is fairly common in this area. But these berries 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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I believe this is mistletoe you see in the Palo Verde tree.
 

ITTOG

Active member
I don't know if it is the case here but there are a lot of "parasites" that do leach onto tree's to steal their nutrients. That could be what the berries are doing. Other examples of this are mistletoe and vines.
 
jlh / ITTOG.....I too was thinking that it was mistletoe but I had no idea that it grows in the southwest desert. I always think of miseltoe growing in the southern and the eastern parts of the U.S. This morning I did a Google search and entered "desert miseltoe" and indeed there is a plant named desert miseltoe which grows in this area. It really is a fascinating plant and it's worth googling if you like that kind of thing.....

This is yet another one of the many the values of travel.....increased knowledge. Since my stay here I'm now familiar with the Palo Verde tree, the Bristlebush, and now desert miseltoe.....



Many of our desert walks begin here from our campsite and then go east into the foothills. Maybe a quarter mile or so to the east is camped a single 68 year old woman with her 15 year old mix breed dog Atticus (from To Kill A Mockingbird). Shes been living in the back of a pick up truck with a small camper shell for 3 years now and seems to be quite content with her uncluttered life. Shes told me that prior to the truck she was living in her sailboat. She's writing a book so I often see her in her chair writing feverishly in a notebook which she later enters into her computer at the library.....she has no internet service on her phone. We talk often.....actually daily.....shes made my stay here better.....

Friday morning a middle aged single guy driving by her campsite on his way deep up the wash to camp broke down. His right front axle (?) snapped and the wheel locked up. That to me would be a nightmare scenario.....he didn't leave until Monday.....

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He set up his tent on the opposite side of the BLM road and during those 4 days I saw a great friendship develop. These two got along so great. I shared my pallet find with them and loaded them up well, and we all had campfires together.....

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All three of us were anxious to see that special full moon that was upcoming.....

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That night of course we had a roaring fire together and chatted by the warm fire as the night cools quickly here in the desert.....

(Lake Havasu City is known to have 9 Vortexs much like the better known vortexs of Sedona, Arizona and one of these Lake Havasu vortexs is known as the Standard Wash Vortex, which is located directly behind my friends in this photograph.....we were all a bit astonished to see that strange light in the background.....we wondered if it could be related).....

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There was a mix of clear skies with periods of clouds.....

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I had hoped to have some amazing photos of the full moon but that didn't happen.....It was good conversation and an interesting evening none the less.....

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We did have an absolutely amazing sunset that night.....

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I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to leave the Land of a Thousand Tiny Peaks....

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On Monday morning an appropriately named desert tow truck hauled the middle aged guy and his Toyota truck away. I think she was sad to see him go but she wouldn't admit to that.....

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It would be difficult to spend two weeks wandering around the desert with a cell phone camera and not take photographs of the wonderful desert cacti (cactuses).....

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So I thought I'd share a few with those that may be interested......

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One day while hiking the tiny peaks I got to thinking.....with the ongoing process of climate change, warming temperatures and changing patterns of rainfall, will plants like these dominant the landscape ?

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I enjoy walking amongst them but I'll admit that I long for the forests of the north country.....

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A study was just completed by the Ecological Society of America that says that Yellowstone National Park may be devoid of trees by the middle of this century. I can't help but wonder if these plants will replace them.....

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Have you ever seen the Doomsday Clock.....a timeline of conflict, culture and change ? In 2018 it moved to 2 minutes to midnight.....the closet it's ever been to midnight. Every year it's been inching just a bit forward. The desert gives a lone man time to think.....

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For anyone thats been following my travels there's one thing that you certainly must know about me by now.....I love to climb stuff. I have no idea where that comes from but I remember when I first discovered that love, I became obsessed with it, and have never lost that obsession. I was fortunate in my early days of climbing to have met a top notch climber (he was also an accomplished sky diver with over 700 jumps to his credit.....it seems as though some people just can't sit still) while on an ocean wreck diving trip and eventually we would become close friends and he would teach me the ropes (literally) of climbing. ....

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My obsession with climbing became my main passion in life. Most trips I took revolved around climbing something and when I wasn't climbing something, I was definitely thinking about climbing something. In my down time I loved to read books about climbing (or adventure and exploration).....

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Now I'm out here in the desert climbing and hiking amongst these small peaks and for nearly every small peak I climb there's a wash or a canyon that I have to cross. At some point it hit me that I really needed to explore these washes and canyons as well, and not just obsess over climbing the small peaks and checking out the views....

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And what I found was a whole little world hidden from the peaks above. It was absolutely incredible the number of small caves that I found. A thousand tiny peaks and a thousand tiny caves. The rock in the desert southwest seems to be very, very porous. It appeared that most of these small caves were used by rodents although I never actually saw any of the small caves occupied.....

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There was only one cave that I saw that was obviously used by an animal other than a rodent. I don't know how many washes and canyons I had crossed on this day.....I do know that I was well beyond any place that an ATV or dirt bike would or could travel.....when I spotted my first game trail.....

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What was so cool about this game trail is that it led directly into a narrow canyon and as I followed the trail downward it led me to the most amazing cave of all. Certainly I'm no expert on Desert Kit Foxes, but from everything I've read, this must have been one of their dens. I could see quite a ways into the cave and believe me this cave was deep into the rock. I wanted to return with a headlamp but I decided it best to leave the inhabitants in peace. Just thinking it was a Desert Kit Fox den was good enough for me. It was a really, really cool find in my book.....

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I've been doing some more thinking while hanging out in the southwest Arizona desert.....

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Why is it that we place so little value on our public lands ?

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Why is it that we have to create special places that we call National Parks and National Monuments that are safe from our injustices ?

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What does the future hold for these millions of acres of free land ?

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For every individual that believes in cleaning up our public lands there must be hundreds, maybe thousands that could care less.....

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Our oceans have become our dumps.....and so have our public lands.....

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Some trash that I found was so disgusting that I had to burn it right there.....too disgusting to haul in my Jeep.....

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We cleaned up nearly 6 miles of BLM roads in addition to a significant part of the desert.....

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Not here looking to get a pat on the back but just feel that I have an obligation, a duty, to speak for the lands and the wildlife since I have the good fortune to live this lifestyle and see so much first hand.....sometimes I wish I had a larger audience.....probably preaching to the choir here.....

Pack It In Pack It Out is outdated. Pack It In Pack More Out is more appropriate.....

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Thanks Jerry. It is a sad state we live in. People go to Joshua Tree and cut down the trees, others destroy the National Parks and Monuments with their off-road vehicles. So sad. jd
 
JD.....there's some real jerks out there.....

Finally the day had come to move further south so we stopped in to bid a farewell to our good neighbor and her pup Atticus. Sadly during our stay there we had noticed that Atticus had begun having trouble getting himself up and subsequently we discovered a fairly large tumor on his hip. He was headed to the vets in a few days.....she said that at 15 years of age she would never allow him to go through surgery or treatment.....seems like old Atticus had a good life.....

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I turned as I was leaving to give them a last wave.....but there she was once again writing feverishly in that notebook of hers. A lesson to be learned here is that happiness comes from within, and not from the things that we collect in life. There was no doubting her contentment with life.....uncluttered describes it well.....

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The dogs and I got in a short hike.....and then we were gone.....

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Lake Havasu.....sure is beautiful country.....

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Next on the agenda would be the 36th Annual RV Show in Quartzite, Arizona. Portrayed as the worlds largest gathering of RVers I'll have to admit that I had some mixed emotions about attending once again. Two years ago I was here and I swear it was here that I secretly convinced myself that I too would need a McMansion of RVs (Renegade). First we would need a spot to camp for three nights.....

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So yea.....maybe it was a bit crowded.....what a contrast from the past two weeks. Never go camping without your Mercedes.....

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We nuzzled into the crowd and the roar of the generators never once stopped for our entire stay.....all day long.....all night long.....

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There were some incredible rigs on that gravel BLM lot.....such as this one pulling his multi level trailer.....

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There are always exceptions to the rule.....

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The following afternoon I hit the big show.....

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Now that I'm at the worlds largest RV show one might think that I spent a good bit of my time there checking out all the beautiful motorhomes and that I'll be posting their pictures here for everyone to drool over (I probably did that last time). The truth is that I only entered one RV during my three day visit, and that lasted less than ten seconds. Martin Luther King Jr. probably said it best....."Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, we are free at last".....living free of that desire to have the McMansion RV.....and I think I proved it to myself right here.....

But this truck was amazing so I'll share it instead.....

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One of the great things about this show is the hundreds of vendors that display and sell their goods here. Two years ago when I was here I met the owner of a company called Dog Is Good (www.dogisgood.com). They were by far my favorite vendor on my first visit so I was on the look out for their booth but unfortunately they did not return. There were plenty of other interesting things to see and the big tent was jammed packed with RVers on a beautiful Friday afternoon.....

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Not sure what was up with this but I saw LOTS of dogs riding around in carts and carriages. Here's just a few of the many.....

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I'm not a real big fan of the idea of using ones dog to hawk their wares (it reminds me of dancing bears or monkeys on the shoulder while playing music and the like). The guy that owned this dog was selling dog hats (I think) so he had his dog sit there all day on that pedestal in the hot sun with that silly hat on. I would imagine there's more than one Alaskan sled dog that would dispute whether that was really work or not.....the sign sure said he was a working dog.....

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Like I said, it was a Friday afternoon and I'd just heard that the government shutdown was finally over and that there would be no wall. Check out the scowl on that womans face.....I wondered if she had just heard the news.....

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Personally, I was glad the shutdown was over. Families suffered.....our parks suffered.....and nothing was accomplished. In the next booth I saw this woman.....looks like she needed to lie down and relax real good.....maybe had she heard the news as well.....

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Just as I was taking these pictures a guy walked by and yelled "it's a hoax lady.....get up and quit wasting your money".....I was actually thinking the same but I'm not quite so bold.....

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The fox hides in this booth brought back memories of the fox trapping lady that I met while camped west of Lake Havasu City. $69.99 per hide.....maybe that's why she "collects" them is what I was thinking right there.....

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It was a good way to waste 3 hours of my life on a Friday afternoon.....and I was ready for more.....
 
Well, now after visiting " dog is good" turns out i found some new dish towels I did not know i needed. :) I have seen a lot more of the dogs in carts thing as well.......seems to me the dogs have it figured out. It is hard for me to fathom how large that must be there, and so many people.
 
Trump has the Dems by the short hairs...pay close attention over the next few weeks. Especially the STOU address, where he will make the Dems look like idiots. He wrote "The art of the deal" after all.
 
PNWY.....I can't think of finer people to spend your money with. Real dog lovers they are.....

Clay.....politics.....just one more thing I know nothing about and sure hope I wasn't appearing to take sides (it's a travel blog after all).....just telling a story here. Hope your health continues to improve.....

Admittedly the gravel lot that I camped at could be one of the worst places I've ever stayed (actually it probably is).....but.....just beyond this sign I show you, posted at the back end of the camping area, is a wonderful, deserted, trash free desert.....

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My days started here.....and my days ended here.....

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These were my cherished times during my stay here.....driving my Jeep on the desert ATV trails.....hiking into the desert and enjoying all it has to offer. Leaving the craziness of the campsite and the RV show behind.....

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Sometimes.....and I don't why.....I'll meet people in my travels and I'll think almost immediately that these are good people.....and these people were like that.....they just seemed kind.....and I don't know why.....

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They were definitely dog lovers.....I do know that.....

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The Saguaro Cactus is much more plentiful in the Quartzite area than it was near Lake Havasu City, and it's pretty cool the way it changes the entire look of the desert.....

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My first night here I heard the howls and barks of the coyotes. And again on our first morning walk into the desert they were nearby howling and barking. It was all repeated on the second night and morning.....and that's when I decided to pursue the howls and barks.....hoping for a sighting. I was not to be disappointed.....

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With Tanner on leash I followed a pack of four coyotes through the washes and the flat open spaces of the desert. They would disappear into the brush and then just as quickly reappear into the areas void of brush. Initially they seemed to find us as nothing more than a curiosity but that was soon to change.....

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At some point the obvious larger, alpha male stopped in his tracks while the three smaller (I assume females) continued into the desert brush. He just sat there and began to howl and bark and I immediately felt that he was trying say "stop.....you're causing us so much anxiety". Or maybe they had led us close to their den ? Maybe a litter of pups ? In all my days wandering around coyotes I've never seen this behavior. He refused to give up another inch of ground. I took a few poorly done videos, turned 180 degrees and disappeared.....

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The Quartzite RV Show is so massive that my first day there was mostly spent walking by the vendor booths and eyeing the ones that I'll visit on day two. So it was that on day two I entered a few booths and checked out some of the wares that were for sale.....

While the RV industry has begun to appeal to a much larger audience these days, with the millennials working remotely for instance (I'm seeing more and more of this), by far the old people still are the primary buyers and that seems to be the audience that the RV Show vendors are targeting. A good example of that is the number of vendors selling stuff to heal those old people aches and pains.....

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Once I started to focus on this thought / idea, I was quite amazed at what I saw.....

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You could spend your entire retirement savings here buying stuff to relieve them old age aches and pains. These machines seemed to be miracle workers (look at the signs on the wall and on the machines themselves and you'll see that there's very little that they don't do). I was not at all surprised to see that they all had sold signs stuck on them.....like I was just saying.....miracle machines.....and people with money.....

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Another obvious indication of this that I noticed here that told me that the vendors are focused on the old people is the sheer number of ice cream vendors. Old people love their ice cream.....and just look at the size of that ice cream booth.....

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These huge double dip cones were everywhere (this particular cone may not a great example since the ice cream is long gone). Bulging waistlines were everywhere as well.....

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Now I'm not one that typically posts pictures of food on XP but I have to share this one photo. The smell of that cheap greasy food made my mouth water.....and right then and there I wondered why I had decided on becoming a vegetarian.....and I'll admit that I thought seriously about eating one of those sausages.....but I didn't.....(only cause I can't afford one of those miracle machines so I need to stay as fit as I possibly can).....

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Cheap tools, hardware, and ATV & RV supplies are another big seller here. Tons of these vendors.....

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Now this guy.....he had a cross to bear.....

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And he seemed quite content to bear it.....

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It was a good way to waste 2 hours of my life on a Saturday afternoon.....would I return for a third day ? I really wasn't certain that I would.....
 
Been to Q a few times. A lot of these people have been 'conditioned' by their favorite TV 'News' show with their advertisements of 'Buy Gold Now', reverse mortgages, Viagra for grand-dad, healthcare hotlines, funeral insurance, anti-aging scams, the list goes on and on and on. Oh, can't forget the actual 'news' itself as a conditioning effect as well! Ice cream is not included!
 
Grenadiers.....I couldn't agree more.....I'm happy that I wasted all my money and can't afford that stuff anymore.....


And so I did return to the RV show for a third day but it was just a short stop to pick up a few things and it lasted for less than an hour.....I'd had enough. I parked next to a cool bus.....

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Then I headed into the show to visit 2 booths where I bought an antique Montana license plate to add to my antique license plate collection (the black plate that's shown in the picture). The other plate shown I found while picking up trash along a Montana highway this past summer.....now my collection consists of two plates.....

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I also picked up a few "dog greeting cards" for the prettiest little girl in the world.....you may remember her when I visited with her this past spring on the east coast trip.....

On the way out of town we stopped in to fill the water jugs and saw this truck camper.....I didn't bother to read all of his signs.....

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Stopped at the red light as I was leaving town and sat next to this guy.....loved that thing but damn the smoke coming out of it about killed us.....

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And then we continued driving south once again. Now here I was remembering a few winters back when someone in Quartzite had told me about an oasis with palm trees south of Quartzite, Arizona, and after a search on Google the best I could find was a stand of palm trees so that's where we went next.....

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Now I had not read much about this place other than I knew it had palm trees and that was about it. But when I saw this sign I had high hopes for Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.....

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The road into the refuge passed through BLM land and I decided to camp there initially as opposed to going further and staying within the actual limits of the refuge. We picked a spot next to a massive sagaura cactus, but I will tell you, there wasn't a bad spot to be had here.....

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We watched yet one more fantastic sunset on our first night.....

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That cactus I spoke of found itself in many a photograph of mine while we were camped here. Our first morning sunrise.....

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Next up.....living in and exploring Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.....it is and was phenomenal.....

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