Saturday, February 7, 2009

AZ. Road Trip Day 1

Left Yuma Thursday AM and headed east to Gila Bend then south to Ajo AZ. A wonderful day with no wind and a temperature of 85 degrees. This shows a massive series of waste berms from the past mining days of Ajo. These piles went on for a few miles and were at least 100' tall. I didn't stop to see the hole they came out of but it must be quite a hole. I don't know what they mined here but they moved a lot of material to get to it.

There are miles and miles of Saguaro "forests" all over this part of Arizona. Saw a lot of interesting rock formations. Just out of the frame there were some rock formations but they were all defaced with gang symbols, initials, names , etc.

This is an interesting looking church in Ajo. There are a lot of older buildings in town which have been maintained and / or restored. I have been through here before but forgot how big of a town it is. Seems to be a lot of winter visitors here. Leaving Ajo I went east through miles and miles of Indian Reservation lands. A few tiny rundown towns which had there share of rundown houses.

Had many views like this one of miles and miles of open desert. A lot of things grow here, most have thorns, spines , needles and things that nearly jump out and stick you.
I think this is a Cholla, a real nasty fellow. Brush against this guy and you'll be picking out thorns for a while.
Out in the middle of nowhere I came across a carnival in the process of setting up. This was 30 miles from anything that even looked like a town (?) It must have been for some kind of county fair or something. It's probably too hot in the summer for a fair so they do it in the winter. Seems odd seeing a carny set up with cactus and the such around.

I made it to Green Valley AZ. (which is 40 miles north of the Mex. border) by night fall. Years ago I had camped up in Madera Canyon which is a 16 mile ride up into the mountains. I found a dispersed campsite, not where I had stayed before, and decided to give it a try. I ended up on a dirt road and had to cross a creek after going down a steep hill. I made it through and picked my way through big rocks in the road for a couple of miles. Nice little campsite on an old foundation slab or something. Had a great view for miles into the valley. Even had internet service so I could check my latest e mails and eBay sales results. That tree made a huge amount of racket during the 40 -50 MPH winds in the night.
Finally found a decent little camp site from where I took this sunset photo. The wind kicked ferociously during the night. Had to have hit 40 - 50 MPH. My tent, which is a stout one, was bending over and hitting me in the head. I finally moved my bike in front for a wind break in the middle of the night. At about 3:00 AM I heard some loud strange sounds and peeked out to find a large herd of cows had moved into my campsite. Or maybe I was in their campsite? Once I realized the source of the ruckus we all got along fine for the rest of the night. I awoke to find my tent full of dust and sand, just like camping in California desert! I had to really get a run at the creek going out so I could make it up the hill on the other side. I nearly tipped the rig over on a side hill with the sidecar on the uphill side. I never thought much about it going in as the hack was on the low side. This side hack rig is definitely not for any serious off road use. Or maybe it is the operator?

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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.