Thursday, February 27, 2020

Yuma Proving Ground Open Air Museum

   The proving grounds, which encompasses 1,307.8 square miles of the Sonoran Desert, is used by the army to test ground combat weapons, tracked and wheeled military vehicles, IEDs, helicopter armament, and parachutes. The open-air museum features two dozen tanks and rocket launchers with interpretive signs.
   Visitors who wish to visit the Heritage Center, which has displays on the history of the proving grounds, must stop here to get a pass. Driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance are required. We haven’t visited yet because we’ve always come by on days when the center is either closed or about to close.

    A paved, accessible path runs from the parking lot to the Visitor Control Center where passes are issued. The tanks and rocket launchers can be viewed from the path but to get a closer look it’s necessary to navigate over soft and rocky ground which is a little difficult.
   The parking lot is large enough for any RV.  Proving Grounds 32.82848, -114.39

Monday, February 24, 2020

Hi Jolly's Tomb

  In the 1850s the US Army imported 70 camels to see how the animals would fare carrying supplies across the arid west. By all accounts, the project was a success but due to the start of the Civil War and objections by both the soldiers and the pack horses and mules the Camel Corp was disbanded in 1861.

   Eight men from Greece were employed as camel drivers. The lead driver Hadji Ali, who was nicknamed Hi Jolly by the soldiers, settled in Quartzsite Arizona after the Corp disbanded. He worked as a miner, mule packer, and scout for the army. In 1935 a stone pyramid was built at Hadji Ali’s gravesite in the local cemetery.
   The monument can be viewed from your vehicle. The ground is surfaced with loose gravel so rolling is difficult.

   The parking area is large enough for any RV. Tomb  33.66437, -114.23629

Friday, February 21, 2020

Celia’s Rainbow Garden

  Celia was born in 1986, arriving months early and weighing a little over a pound, but she beat the odds and survived. She was a healthy, normal child until a viral infection attacked her heart and she passed away at eight years old. A year later her parents, who owned the Oasis Bookstore in Quartzsite, started planting a botanic garden in her memory in the town park. The garden has grown over the years as townspeople and winter visitors built rock-lined paths and created tributes to loved ones. Some are simple stone plaques and others have elaborate designs. Antique equipment and a village of tiny houses are also located in the park.
   The  paths while mostly level are narrow and very rough with loose gravel. It possible to see the garden with an energetic helper.
   The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Garden  33.68023, -114.21065

Monday, February 10, 2020

Palm Canyon-Kofa Wildlife Refuge

   Palm Canyon road runs east off of US 95 for seven miles before dead-ending in a trailhead parking lot. A half-mile hike leads to an overlook with a view of over one hundred native California palm trees growing in a narrow, rock-strewn ravine. This is the last place in Arizona where they grow in their natural habitat.

   The trail is not accessible. We walked/rolled 1 1/2 miles along the road to the trailhead with our boondocking friends who continued their hike to the palm overlook. The road is bumpy and uphill but doable with a strong helper.
   The first 3.5 miles of palm Canyon Road travels through BLM land before it hits the wildlife refuge. Dispersed camping is allowed in both areas. Of all the camping areas around Quartzsite I think this is the prettiest one. The mountain backdrop turns orange and red as the sun sets and the desert resembles a cactus garden with a variety of vegetation. Most of the good spots are located close to the road which is okay since there isn’t a lot of traffic. Any size RV will fit. The road itself is graded gravel and rough in spots but navigable by any vehicle.  Palm Canyon  33.3571, -114.12676

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Plomosa Road 14 Day Boondocking

   A paved access road with flat terrain on either side makes this a good place to stay if you want to be close to Quartzsite, Arizona. We joined friends who were camped in the wash. It has more foliage and fewer campers than the areas closer to the road.

  This was the perfect place to burn the RTR van since the fairgrounds didn’t allow fires. The turnout was limited to people camping with the HOWA caravan because we didn’t have a BLM permit to hold an event. Thanks for allowing us to use your campfire! Also thanks to Al for the help in assembling the van. Thanks to everyone who signed and decorated the van. Thanks to Sassy for scouting the area, arranging everything with the caravan, and leading the singing. Thanks to the caravan participants for joining us at the campfire and thanks for the great photo (which I borrowed) that Anne posted on facebook. Sorry about not spreading the news about the location. I wish everyone could have been there. Maybe next year!   Plomosa Road 33.75244, -114.19603