Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Exploring LaPaz County by Jeep Feb 26

Feb. 26...Today was a beautiful day for resting the legs and doing some bonding with the Jeep and Pam. To our south, as we camp here, near Quartzsite, is the northern portion on the Kofa Wildlife Refuge that runs south, most of the way to Yuma. When we were in Yuma, we explored some of the southern section, today we did two 4WD trails in the northern end. The first was the Crystal Hill Trail, to a mountain where you could hunt for gemstones of several varieties, if you have a clue what you're doing, which Pam and I don't. We went about seven miles out a dirt road to an old camping area at the base of a mountain. The campsites look like they are still used, but they are very overgrown and no maintenance has been done for a long, long time. We parked the Jeep, walked across a wash, and headed up a barely discernible trail. The whole mountain has been mined out, for the most part, and it was pocked with holes, ruts, and dug out areas, that resulted in loose rocks, which are spilled all over what's left of the natural mountain. It made for difficult climbing, but even more difficulty descending, as the loose rocks slipped under every step. Pam found some 'pretty' rocks that she put into her fanny pack, but we found no gems that would make us rich. A good time was had by all, however, and we were about the only people on the mountain. A few people were climbing as we were leaving, but it was peaceful and desolate.
The bottom of the trail on Crystal Hill

View of the desert from halfway up.  The wash is lined by creosote shrubs (in the foreground).

View from the 3/4 way up the hill.  You can see the road that we were driving on.

View from the top.  Dry wash and the pattern of the "dirt" roads

Taking a break at the top - note the color of the rocks.  Each color is a different mineral

Lizards and flowers, even on the top

Working my way down on the slippery, loose rocks

Driving down the road from Crystal Hill

Well shaped Seguaro cactus

No one knows why some have arms and some never grow them

Teddy Bear cactus - it takes pliers to pull these needles off of your clothes and skin cause they have hooks

First cactus blooms of spring

The Four American Deserts and we've been in each of them!

Hiking into Palm Canyon

Looking up into the crevices that has Arizona's only native palms

A close up of the same trees in the huge rock crevice.  Some palms are 20 feet tall.

Looking out of canyon over the desert.  The black pile of rocks is a sizable hill of volcanic rock

Another lone palm in the canyon

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