Monday, January 25, 2016

Ajo, AZ

We are finishing up a very enjoyable weeks stay in Ajo.  Mike and I were here for a month 3 years ago and you can find my posts for that stay during Jan/Feb of 2013 as I am just going to add a couple of things with this stay.  We will return to Ajo in the future.

I love this area, the scenery is just beautiful everywhere you look in the Sonoran Desert! Even the cristate cactus has it's own artsy twists that are fun to look at and take pics of.  Here are a few that we tracked down on this stay, one may be a repeat from our last visit;)

this saguaro was all cristate until the new arm grew normally

In these two, only one "arm" did not form properly

And in these two, pretty much the whole cactus is cristated

Red tail hawk hanging out in a saguaro

in this pic, note the nest to the far left and the Harris hawk on the saguaro to the far right, is she waiting for her mate to have their spring family!

a beauty!
 The following pics were taken inside Gate 18 on the Barry Goldwater Range.  We had not explored this area the last time we were here but are sure glad we checked it out this time!

a young saguaro artfully framed by the skeleton of a long dead cholla

red tails everywhere!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Castle Dome Ghost Town Museum, Yuma, AZ

We spent a very nice week in Yuma revisiting some previous places to show cousin Dave and Mary as they had not been there before.  We did go to one new place, however, and it was worth checking out.

Castle Dome was a mining town spread out over 7 miles along several mines just north of Yuma.  Locals brought abandoned buildings together to form a museum in order to keep the areas history alive.  It is a nice museum and we enjoyed a couple hours of meandering through several old structures.

Castle Dome Ghost Town

How deep is this thing any way????

 We ventured through the Griffindrift Mine....

and made it out alive!:)

Castle Dome in the background 

The town had 6 saloons!

One of the few places to get a real the local brothel

hanging with the locals

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hiking Lake Havasu City, AZ

Ahhh, the desert in winter. What a great place to be hiking!

We are traveling for a few weeks with Mike's cousin and wife, Dave and Mary and our first stop was Lake Havasu.  Mike and I have been here a couple of times years ago to get together with friends for a couple of days and not had the time to check out any hiking.  Turns out there are several hiking trails very close to the city!

Our first trek was the Water Tank Trail, 6.2 miles out and back through some great scenery:

a rusted out 61/62 Dodge adds character to the landscape

Mike and Dave lead the way through this beautiful little valley

the water tank is a simple water collector, a large corrugated aluminum sheet which channels rain water into a covered
storage tank accessible to animals
 We spent an afternoon wandering around shops and checking out the London Bridge:

 Our next hike was Lizard Trail in Sara Park just south of the city.  This fun climb to the top of the bluff involves scrambling over a couple of rock shelves.  A 360 view at the top and looking down on a 35 year old lizard geoglyph were great highlights on this trail:
heading for the high point on the right of the middle bluff for a great 360 view!

I did need a boost over these rock ledges!

views from the top, amazing!

yes, a picnic table at the top, the far edge of the table is the edge of the bluff!

looking the other direction, the Colorado River down below

Over the front of the bluff, 600 feet below is the 80 foot lizard geoglyph
 Had to take Dave and Mary out to the Desert Bar, accessible only by 5 miles of dirt road:

 Fun place, eclectic for sure,

great band playing

No good beer but plenty of
liquor! :)

 Our last hike was down a canyon we heard about near the Lizard Trail. We had hoped to take the canyon down to the river but the rain had filled tanks in the little canyon preventing us from making it through.  As you can see though, it was great fun and beautiful!!!!

you can see the water filling the tank below us, we could not go further without a bath;)

Dave coming back up a waterfall area. I am feeling the muscles I used to climb this rope today;)

some boulder scrambling ahead to get up and out of the canyon, what fun!

US Army Corp of Engineers Park, Iowa City, IA

Mike and I love it when we can find a COE park because they are always on water and our last stop at Coralville Lake was no exception.  A bi...