“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
"Life is good...it says so on my ball cap." mej

Header Photo: Bobbie, putting the finishing touches on one of our many backyard 13ers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sonoran Desert Museum A Real Hoot


Susan and Maikel were kind enough to give us tickets to the Sonoran Desert Museum; it's just up the road a couple of miles from our camps at Gilbert Ray. So yesterday, after my dental appointment with a wet-behind-the-ears kid one month out of school... ink still wet on his diploma... (squirm) we attended the 2 pm Raptor show. That particular afternoon featured four species, a Barn Owl, four Harris Hawks, a Peregrine Falcon and Grey Hawk.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Riders On The Storm: The Charlie Brown Syndrome


If you would indulge a brief Sonoran Desert pause, I'll whisk you back in time to our stays in the less lush Mohave along the Colorado River corridor... a series of unlikely, but eye-catching "ponds" that entertain as good as any childhood playground.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snowed Out Of Their Minds!


Wow, people really get uptight when it snows down here in southern Arizona. TV stations send out a bazillion reporters to cover every freaking flake and snowman. Then school gets canceled, and the highway department runs its lone snowplow 24/7 (everybody else gets a road grader). But I guess they ran out of road graders because up in Madera Canyon they barricaded the road... yeah, like three miles out... where pavement was snowless and practically dry. So Goldie's up in the campground, freezing her tailpipes off while we're sitting at a roadblock wondering how to get home. What are we supposed to do, get a motel?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ironwood's Silverbell Cemetery: A Few Pages Out of The Old and New West


Once described as the "Hell-hole of Arizona," the copper mining town of Silverbell was a place that attracted outlaws and misfits like flies to turds ... the kind of place where "the wild, wild west" was an understatement. In the days before Sam McEvan was sworn in as the new Deputy Sheriff, three murders were committed. Good luck, Sam, you're going to need it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Saguaro East; Hiking Loma Alta and Quilter... A "Wise" Choice


Having exhausted our welcome at Gilbert Ray, one of our favorite campgrounds in the whole wide world, we were forced to move on. So now we are back in Madera at Bog Springs, a close second favorite to Gilbert Ray. If I could get away with it, it would suit me fine to just bounce back and forth between the two all winter long...according to temperature and forecast. There seems to be plenty of vacancies in both, as long as you arrive on a weekday. Both camps offer great hiking and biking opportunities. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Boulder City, Nevada: A Flash-back Retro-spective




Flashing back in time now, to our brief stay near Boulder City in five-bucks-a-night Lake Mead National Recreational Area campground. No sewer, no power... no Pepsi! Coke!!! Ah, I do miss Seinfeld; "Soup Nazi" was my favorite episode. I can't explain, nor help, the short circuits in my right-brain, so just try and follow along as best you can...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shooting Stars, Petroglyphs, Cacti, Watertanks, Hawks, and Anything Else That Moves Or Doesn't Move




Ironwood National Monument: "Rancher Jesus Arvizu, whose family has been ranching here since 1847, said all of his No Shooting signs have been shot to pieces. His livestock water tanks are full of holes. He wants to see the target shooters restricted to designated areas within the monument. 'I just had a guy out shooting next to my corrals,' Arvizu said. 'Yesterday a guy shot a hawk and stuck him on one of my fences. Just spread him out. Why would you do a thing like that? It's not safe anymore. It's a major problem.'" Los Angels Times

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reconstructing Hohokam: Petroglyph Art Imitates Life... Or So We Think


The sign emphatically stated that it would cost "violators" a cool quarter of a million dollars if caught doing anything beyond observing. It's a Look and Leave policy that's meant to intimidate would be looters into being honorable. A Lone Ranger can't be everywhere at once in a vast 130,000 acre natural and cultural preserve. So that's what we did. The only thing we left Ironwood Forest National Monument with was the dust on our boots, photographs, and more questions than when we hiked in.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Boys, They Like To Strut Their Stuff...


Tired of the same ol' same ol' Sonoran Desert? Me neither, but there's a free "Male Review" playing up in Madera Canyon that's worth catching, one that even the guys will love.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Curve Of The Earth Views From The Summit of Mount Wrightson



Come join us! We are snug, at 5000 feet above the ever-rising sea level, in a small but site-spacious Forest Service campground in Madera Canyon. Mount Wrightson towers overhead, snow capped, some 5000 additional feet higher and thirty degrees colder. It is our annual pilgrimage/duty to summit the Old Man, to honor his Mountain Spirit, and the kindred souls that thrive within us.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"You Can't Touch This," Hammer Time, Break'in It Down



I am posting near "real time," less the "fire" cool to embers of "who cares, it's just one Park... down Meh-hee-co way."

Sunday, February 3, 2013