Friday, January 20, 2012

Quartzsite and Imperial Dam

Quartzsite, Arizona  is a winter mecca for several hundred thousand RV'ers from all over the U.S. and Canada.

They scatter all over the area in what is known as BLM public land.

                           The opening picture of this post was taken from this ultralight plane--

--which can land right here among our rigs.

There are all sorts of activities going on around here--

--from free pancake breakfasts to the ever popular potluck.

The pictures below are from The Imperial Dam BLM area South of Quartzsite.

                                           The Chocolate Mountains are in the background.

It's 60 miles away from the bustle of Quartzsite, is less crowded, and is more peaceful.

Wild burros left from prospectors are common visitors here.

                                    Sunsets over the Chocolate Mountains are always spectacular.


"The Names" is a vast area of the desert tattooed by thousands of rocks with various forms and names left by campers over the years.

There's always a 4X4 trail ride going somewhere into the mountains.

An occasional "Dog Burn" is always a well attended event.

This Canadian hot dog roaster is the ultimate work of art.

It can roast 8 dogs at a time, slowly turning to absolute perfection.

When wheeled in to operating range, it puts you close to 20 feet from the fire.

                                          The end of another nice day at the Imperial Dam.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Most Beautiful Road In Texas

The river road from Lajitas to Presidio, a 50 mile long winding highway following the Rio Grande through spectacular canyon and mountain country, may well be the most scenic ride in Texas.  

Beside it is the site of an old movie set, used in the filming of several western movies.   

After a brief stop here, we head West for warmer weather near Quartzsite and the Imperial Dam in Arizona.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Big Bend

Big Bend National Park is in southern Texas, separated from Mexico by the Rio Grande River.

This is some of the most beautiful, rugged and remote land in the U.S.

Like everything in Texas, this is a very big place.  The road into the park and to the campground is 85 miles long.  The park itself covers 1252 sq. miles, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

It's an easy hike into Boquillas Canyon and the river there is shallow enough to walk across.

We hiked to a few old, long abandoned ranches--

--and saw a few javelina along the way.

Kayakers float the river for days, over nighting on the remote sand bars.

The high walls of Santa Elena Canyon are especially captivating.

Changing light throws patterns of color on the rock walls all over the park.

There are gravel and 4X4 roads in the park for visitors to explore.

Luna's Jacal is a homesite once occupied in a very remote valley until 1947, when Gilberto Luna died at the age of 108 or 109.  The ranching family traded with friendly Comanche warriors as they passed through on their war trail in what was their territory.

As is true all over the West, visitors pass unmarked graves from time to time.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Law West Of The Pecos

            Langtry, Texas is known as the long ago home of Judge Roy Bean.

He established himself as Justice Of The Peace West of the Pecos River and handed out his own brand of law and order.

This is the original Jersey Lilly Saloon, where the eccentric Judge handed out both hard liquor and harsh justice.

Our friends, Keith and Marsha Mann, live in Langtry and have recently opened a trading post and rest stop for weary travelers.

Travelers stay in this trailer.  It has all the comforts of home.  A nice bed, shower, air conditioning, and kitchen with a well stocked refrigerator.  It is very popular with bicyclers along this route.  There are also RV hookups for those that need a place to stay for the night.

You can stay here for free if you putter around and help Keith fix up a few things.

This is the old ranch house Keith and Marsha fixed up and now live in.

              It's right down the road from the Trading Post and they have RV hookups here also.

Keith took us on a 4X4 ride high on a canyon ridge and pointed to Mexico across the Rio Grande.