Monday, February 24, 2014

Sitting in MacDoanlds and finally have internet again!

Feb 19th - Day 11
We drove from our Cottonwood campsite in Joshua Tree National Park to Ambroy Crater today with a side trip to Pioneerville.  We really enjoyed JTNP and the scenery was really interesting with the different types of vegetation; Cholla cactus, Ocotilla trees, Joshua trees, creosote bushes and so much more.  
The round rocks and various rock formations were really interesting too.   Got cold quickly as the sun dropped around 5:30.  Nightime temps down to 10, but warmed up quickly when the sun came up around 6:30.   We are dry camping in a parking lot at Amboy Crater (free).   Just one other camper here; a couple from AB.  It's their first time south and they are also using the Frugal RV guide.  First time we have been able to let the dogs off leash and they have had fun finding sticks to chew and playing.  It's also much warmer here at night.  7:30 and it's still 20C.   We are on historic Route 66.  We are also on a major train route and see them go by at a distance.   I-5 was major freight truck traffic; this is the train route.   Pioneerville was where Hollywood used to film the Westerns.   We stopped in 29 Palms to get groceries and gas.   We drove past a dry lake, Bristol Lake, where they extract Calcium Chloride.  Much warmer here after the sun goes down than what we had in Joshua Tree N.P.   

Feb 20th - Day 12
Lots of train traffic went by at our stop at Ambroy Crater.   We had a short drive today from Amboy Crater to Kelso Dunes in Mojave National Preserve.
We are the only people in the dispersed campsite.  Cost $0.  A little cool here, as a wind comes up, but the sun is intense.  Went for a walk on the dunes and the sand is definitely a challenge to walk in.
 Dogs having fun off leash again today.  We had a bit of a drive on Route 66 and saw Roy's cafe which is apparently famous?  

Feb 21st - Day 13
Very cold night - down to 2.5C at 6:30.  By 8 AM it was up to 13C.  We headed east and crossed into Arizona.  Took a brief look at Lake Havasu, the campsite was full so we continued on to Cattail Cove State Park which is on Lake Havasu just south of Lake Havasu City.   Dogs got in for swim today.   Got the last campsite.   Next door neighbour is from the lower mainland and then Bob Shapiel? from Campbell River who was the CIBC bank mgr recognized me and now we are invited to the campfire for the long-term campers.  Nice large campsites with power, water, nice bathrooms with free showers.   Probably would have stayed a 2nd night, but they are booked.  

Feb 22nd - Day 14
We drove back into California along the "Parker strip".  It's a very popular place for people to winter.   We are camped at Empire Landing for $15 a night (no water or power, showers and flush toilets).  although they also have serviced sites for $30.   Dogs got to play in the river today which was great as it hit 30C.  Found about a few more places to go from fellow campers.   Diesel ranged from $4.09 a gallon in California to $3.80 at our last fill up in Parker.  Missing having internet and going through a bit of withdrawal at not looking at Pinterest and card blogs but reading new books more and catching up on back issues of the Economist.  

Feb 23rd - Day 15
Still at Empire Landing.   Just hanging out and enjoying the sun and letting the dogs get in the river for swims.  We are on the California side of the Colorado River looking a very short distance to the Arizona side.  We're on BC time here, and they are on Alberta time across the river  Up to 31C today.  But by 4:30, as the sun starts to fade, it cools down rapidly.  Went down to about 10C last night, but it's up to 20C by 9:30.  It's dark by 6PM with lots of pinks and oranges in the sky to the west.   There is a coyote that makes his appearance along the edge of the river around dusk and we saw him again this morning.  There are also wild burros  (well, not owned by anyone yet pretty tame) that live in the desert and we saw 2 at the Visitor Center this morning.  There are two Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas near here and people bring their OHV (off highway vehicles) and camp here and then spend the day in the desert.  I saw a hummingbird yesterday and we hear some songbirds but haven't seen many.  We are looking for a scorpion light. Daryl has already squished a scorpion that was right beside where he had the dogs on a sit.   A scorpion bite would make the dogs quite sick.  We need to give the dogs their last pee break after it's dark, so this light is like a little flashlight and a scorpion will glow bright green when the light shines on it.   The diamondback rattle snake is in this area too, but doesn't usually come out until March - April.  It's been hotter than normal though, so they may come out sooner.   We will be very cautious from now on about where the dogs are allowed off leash.  Cactus are another potential injury for the as they have no concept of what would happen if they brushed against one as they were running around.  Not like running around in BC forest where a black berry bramble would be the main problem.  The "Parker" strip has a combination of private houses with their own docks, RV Resorts, and BLM campsites like we are staying in.   During the day there are jet boats and pontoon boats driving past, but after sunset it's really quiet.  Finding some very good prices on wine and alcohol.  Bought 1.75L of Gordon's Gin for $14 US. and a litter of vodka for $10.   Some pretty decent wines for $5-7.  Met a nice couple from Oregon, who had lived in Whistler for 20 years and their daughter lives in Duncan.  This morning they heard that there was snow falling in Duncan.  Pretty happy to be in shorts today!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to have found your blog notes! Here I was waiting for email updates...duh! The weather sounds lovely there--it's been snowing for 3 days here, but not sticking. Rain forecast the test of the week, so you're sure not missing anything here! We're having a news hot water tank put in right now (sigh) and Kezzi is at the vets for some unknown ailment :( hope your back is better now?


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