Arizona – The Last 6 Weeks

This post marks a milestone for me, this is my 100th post! In 2 1/2 years time, I visited 90 towns in New Hampshire and have done some traveling in other states. If you follow me regularly, you know I’ve been in Arizona for the last two months. My wi-fi was sketchy so I wasn’t able to post each week. I’ve been home now for a week and have finally finished going through the thousands of images I took. Before I get back to posting about New Hampshire, I have a farewell to Arizona post to share.

Hi Jolly Goldeneye Mine-18 - Copy - Copy

My dad, the dogs and I had an adventure nearly every day we were there. We didn’t leave much of southwestern Arizona and southeastern California unexplored. We were extremely lucky in the weather department. If you add up the hours it rained, it would only total about 2 days worth.

The storm moving in

The storm moving in

 

We certainly saw some beautiful scenery, but there was a bit of comedy too…

Desert & Plane Show-150 - Copy - Copy

Mines Indian Lookout-56

Parker to Blythe-54

Parker to Blythe-78

Parker to Blythe-82

RT 62-11

There were 100's of shoes on this piece of land in California - no idea what started it

There were 1000’s of shoes on this piece of land in California – no idea what started it

Q-Tonopah-41

We didn't see any free range cattle where the signs were, but we did finally see some on our way back from the ghost town

We didn’t see any free range cattle where the signs were, but we did finally see some on our way back from the ghost town

How often do you see a "Tank Crossing" sign?

How often do you see a “Tank Crossing” sign?

Yuma Proving Grounds

Yuma Proving Grounds

 

One day, we were just out driving around with no particular destination. We found the road which leads to the towers at the top of the mountain. The gate was open, so I figured the worst thing that could happen is someone at the top would tell us to leave (preferable to them calling the police!). But, as luck would have it, we were alone on the top of the mountain. The road was a bit scary, switch backing all the way up then becoming extremely steep but the view was worth the scary drive (the drive down was even scarier that the ride up!)

Tower Mountain-6

Tower Mountain-25

You can see Interstate 10 which heads into Phoenix

You can see Interstate 10 which heads into Phoenix

Diesel was King of the hill

Diesel was King of the hill

The towers looked so small from the desert below but they dwarf the saguaro which dwarfs my dad

The towers looked so small from the desert below but they dwarf the saguaro which dwarfs my dad

As seen from the desert below

As seen from the desert below

 

We tried to find as many of the stone houses as we could. There are quite a few. Some we found with the help of a guide, others we stumbled across…

Q-Tonopah-16

Rt 60-2

Desert & Plane Show-20 - Copy - Copy

You could actually see this one from the top of the mountain the towers were on

The corners of the house were all quartz, as were the window and door frames. The rest of the stones were an amazing assortment of local gems and minerals

The corners of the house were all quartz, as were the window and door frames. The rest of the stones were an amazing assortment of local gems and minerals

 

Every drive or hike brought abundant photo opportunities. I was surprised by the amount of farming and agriculture. It seemed in such contrast to the desert and mountains. Since the Colorado River divides California and Arizona, it is a major water source for the area…

Lake Yuma Campfire-25 - Copy

Lake Yuma Campfire-20 - Copy

03Mar9 Calif - Copy - Copy

Date Palms

Date Palms

Migrant farm workers harvesting the crops

Migrant farm workers harvesting the crops

Parker to Blythe-106

 

There are a number of dams along the Colorado and we went to the Parker Dam. It is the deepest dam in the country. Molly shocked us by leaping onto the parapet. How did she know it was wide enough for her?

Parker to Blythe-21

 

We followed the river into Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge…

Lake Havasu-7 - Copy - Copy

 

I was quite happy to find lighthouses along the edges of Lake Havasu…

Lake Havasu-19 - Copy - Copy

Lake Havasu-11 - Copy - Copy

Lake Havasu-23

 

The Colorado Rive and Lake Havasu are only two of the many bodies of water we visited…

Lake Havasu-3 - Copy - Copy

Imperial NWR-93 - Copy - Copy

We always tried to find a place for Molly and Diesel to swim and play

We always tried to find a place for Molly and Diesel to swim and play

 

We traveled on every type of road you can think of – paved, dirt, rocks, you name it, we drove on it. My favorite road was filled with dips. It was like being on a roller coaster…

Alamo Lake State Park-21 - Copy - Copy

 

My least favorite road (and definitely my dad’s) was in Joshua Tree National Monument in California. There was a sign stating 4 wheel drive was a requirement for the road. “No big deal,” I declared, “I have a jeep!” Ugh – what was I thinking? The sign stated it was 7 miles to an abandon mine and 20 miles to Interstate 10. Well, I only wanted to find the mine, I didn’t want to go back to the interstate. I didn’t think to check the odometer before we set out and yep you guessed it. I didn’t find the mine and by the time I decided we HAD to have passed it, the road had gotten so bad I was creeping along in 4 low. We came across two people on dirt bikes. They had stopped because the sand was so deep, it was bogging them down to badly to continue. I was considering turning around and going back the way we came, but they laughed and said we were only about 3 miles for the interstate. The decision to continue only made sense, little did we know, the worst of the road was ahead…

This part of the road was fine. I was too busy trying to keep Toad on the road to take pictures later!

This part of the road was fine. I was too busy trying to keep Toad on the road to take pictures later!

 

Like the roads, the hiking trails varied in difficulty as well. We hiked into Palm Canyon to see the only species of palm trees native to Arizona. The first half was pretty easy, but then became too much for my dad. He waited with the dogs while I entered the canyon…

The people give a real sense of scale to the mountains

The people give a real sense of scale to the mountains

Still on the good part of the trail

Still on the good part of the trail

Not what I was picturing! Good thing there was a sign pointing 3/4 of the way up the mountain crevice or I never would have seen the palms.

Not what I was picturing! Good thing there was a sign pointing 3/4 of the way up the mountain crevice or I never would have seen the palms.

 

My dad didn’t feel good one day, so I set off on my own. I knew he would be bored watching me collect rocks and stones, so I figured this would be the day to go to Crystal Hill in the Kofa NWR. The clouds were clearing out and it looked like it was going to be a great day. I didn’t start out with the intention of climbing the mountain, but it is exactly what I ended up doing. When I got to the top I couldn’t believe the view…

 

Crystal Hill-143

 

Scenes from other hikes and drives…

Castle Dome-12 - Copy - Copy

Desert & Plane Show-23 - Copy - Copy

Desert & Plane Show-193 - Copy - Copy

Alamo Lake State Park-8 - Copy

 

We did see some wildlife, not as much as I would have liked but I guess that’s why it’s called wildlife…

03Mar13 AZ Final Days-76 - Copy - Copy

Crystal Hill-56

Wild horses

Wild horses

Q-Tonopah-15

Cibola NWR-34 - Copy - Copy

"No wildlife in sight"

“No wildlife in sight”

 

When Steve arrived, he got the best wildlife pictures!

Pronghorn

Pronghorn

We almost didn't see the mule deer

We almost didn’t see the mule deer

 

The desert was coming alive with flowers before we left. I marveled at the variety. Yellow, red, orange and purple were the most prevalent colors I saw, but they were all beautiful…

Crystal Hill-222 - Copy - Copy

Crystal Hill-227 - Copy - Copy

Castle Dome-24 - Copy - Copy

Joshua Tree NP-61-Edit - Copy - Copy

Joshua Tree NP-3-Edit - Copy - Copy

Ghost Town Flowers-27 - Copy - Copy

Ghost Town Flowers-21 - Copy - Copy

Ghost Town Flowers-2 - Copy - Copy

Ghost Town Flowers-17 - Copy - Copy

03Mar13 AZ Final Days-58 - Copy - Copy

 

It wasn’t just the flowers I was fascinated by…

This tree is being taken over by mistletoe

This tree is being taken over by mistletoe

I never knew mistletoe was a parasite plant

I never knew mistletoe was a parasite plant

 

Everything seems to have thorns or sharp points…

Joshua Tree NP-8-Edit - Copy - Copy

Joshua Tree NP-93-Edit - Copy - Copy

Joshua Tree NP-98-Edit - Copy - Copy

The End

The End

 

This is definitely the longest post I’ve written, but it does cover several week. Thank you for following along. I’m looking forward to to the next 100 posts!

 

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20 Comments on “Arizona – The Last 6 Weeks”

  1. Robin S. Kent April 8, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    A great post, probably the most comprehensive photo essay on Arizona I’ve seen. The whimsical collection of signs was particularly entertaining. Nicely done. Thanks!

    • Touring NH April 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      Thank you Robin. It was a lot to squeeze into one post. And I only covered southwestern Arizona. So much more to see next time!

  2. New Hampshire Garden Solutions April 8, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I’d love to go there, but it does look hot.
    I used to collect cacti and succulents and I’d love to see them growing in their natural habitat. Seeing those beautiful wildflowers would be a bonus.
    Not to mention the rocks and minerals. I used to collect those too and I know that there are some nice ones in Arizona.
    Great post. Congratulations on reaching 100!

    • Touring NH April 8, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

      Thank you. I know you would love AZ. Just don’t go after March. It really was getting warm. I brought back a wonderful array of rocks and minerals. And maybe a cacti or two.

  3. gabigabs111 April 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    Beautifully written. Love those photos.

    • Touring NH April 9, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      Thank you. I have so many photos, it was hard to choose which ones to post.

  4. Oh, the Places We See April 8, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    Congrats on your 100th post! Lots of great pics and carefully considered sentiments, too!

    • Touring NH April 8, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

      Thank you. I really enjoyed writing this post. So much to
      Include. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Jeff | Planet Bell April 10, 2015 at 5:18 am #

    Those are some starkly beautiful landscapes, and probably a nice break from the cold of New Hampshire. All those shoes and the comedy photos are my favorite – a nice quirky bit of Americana.

    • Touring NH April 10, 2015 at 8:57 am #

      Thanks Jeff. I am definitely missing the warm weather. It snowed the day before yesterday here and my husband hid the keys to the motorhome in fear I may drive off into the sunset until June or so.

  6. marthaschaefer April 11, 2015 at 1:43 am #

    This is so well done Laura. Your shots are breathtaking and I love your breezy narrative. So glad you were able to have this time with your Dad! What a gift for you both. As much as I love you “town” posts, this one is one of my favorites for seeing through your eyes and hearing your voice. Thanks for the adventure!

    • Touring NH April 11, 2015 at 9:47 am #

      Thank you Martha. It really was a great trip with my dad.

  7. Marie Keates April 13, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    Congratulations on your hundredth post. Great photos of what looks like a wonderful break. I especially liked seeing London Bridge in its new home.

    • Touring NH April 14, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      Thank you. It was a great time with my dad!

  8. Sue Slaght April 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m beginning ot think Jeff is reading my mind. Love the quirky photos which had me chuckling. Placing the signs to watch for wild burros and then the photos of the burros and same for the cows are great! What is with the tree of shoes?

    • Touring NH April 21, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

      If you noticed, there were burros behind the sign. People stop to feed them all the time, never a good thing for wildlife. The “No Parking” was my favorite. As for the shoes – I have no idea how that got started, but it certainly is a sight!

  9. gpcox May 4, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    WOW, you not only put in an outstanding effort on this post – it looks as though you had an outstanding journey!

    • Touring NH May 4, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      A:hover { COLOR: red } A { TEXT-DECORATION: none; COLOR: #0088cc } A.primaryactionlink:link { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:visited { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:hover { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e } A.primaryactionlink:active { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e }

      Thank you. We had such an amazing time! It is a beautiful place.

  10. gallivance.net May 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    I love this post, Laura. And your photos are fabulous as always. I particularly like the one of your Dad, saguaro, and towers. 🙂 We haven’t spent much time in Arizona, but you’ve really inspired me to add it to our ever-expanding list. It’s so great you were there in the spring to see the flowers come alive. Beautiful! Did you have a favorite town or experience?

    On a separate note, so sorry for our absence from your blog in the past few months. We’ve been in a middle of a big move and it’s made us a bit nuts. 🙂 Looking forward to catching up.

    All the Best, Terri & James

    • Touring NH May 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

      I don’t think I could pick a favorite! I love Arizona, it is the perfect place to spend the winter! (If you need to get away from Kentucky winters) Congrats on the big move!

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