December 6, 2017 Imperial Dam LTVA, Winterhaven, California

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite

Quartzsite to Yuma, Arizona and the LTVA at Imperial Dam

King Valley Road, Kofa NWR, Arizona
King Valley Road, Kofa NWR, Arizona

Before leaving Quartzite, Monday morning I took a drive down Route 95 and into the Kofa NWR on King Valley Road, hoping to perhaps spot some desert wildlife while exploring some new country. King Valley Road was a wide fairly decent gravel road, but 22 miles in, I made the disastrous decision to turn north and head up into the hills, hoping to get closer the rugged mountains. The road became narrower as I headed north and soon had turned into a one lane road with no good chance to turn around. Then, suddenly, the road turned from rough, hard gravel to crushed stone, as much as a foot deep and the the no clearance Prius started to bog down. The loose stone was piled up in the center of the road so I was scraping bottom and several times came close to getting stuck… and there was no way I could turn around, not that I would have dared to stop, since that would have definitely gotten me stuck.

  • So I continued to plow through the loose stone for more than a mile until I finally came to a short stretch of hard surface just short of an area where a the road went through a wash ( and would have been impassable for me and my Prius ) and I was able to finally turn around. Then I had to make the white knuckle drive back through the loose stone, praying I didn’t run into someone coming the other way since stopping meant definitely getting stuck in the quicksand like loose stone. No pictures to show for it and I have no doubt I probably have messed up the front end of the Prius.
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite

On to the Yuma Area

Having made arrangements to have my Revlimid FedEx’ed to a Walgreens FedEx Hold location in Yuma on Wednesday, I left Quartzite for the short 70 mile drive down to the Imperial Dam BLM LTVA ( long term visitor’s area ).

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite

After signing in and paying my $40 for a 14 day camping permit ( you may also opt to pay $180 for a season long permit ), and filling up with fresh water and dumping tanks and trash at the wonderful facility here at the LTVA,  I was fortunate to find one of the best sites in the entire area unoccupied and set up camp. I am on a peninsula of gravel with no nearby neighbors with 270 degree views out over the wetlands below the dam on the nearby Colorado River. Daytime temperatures are in the 70’s with cool nights right now and the wind is blowing pretty consistently at 20 mph and sometimes more.

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA Campsite

I have an appointment with Shade Pro to have my main awning fabric replaced Friday afternoon at my campsite, then really have no plans for the rest of my stay here before heading east toward Tucson.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click ( on the image below) through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


 

 

December 30, 2016 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

My Campsite at Imperial Dam LTVA
My Campsite at Imperial Dam LTVA

First Two Weeks at the Imperial Dam LTVA

It’s been a while since the last post and that’s because there really is very little to post about. After my two week stay just south of Quartzite, I drove down Route 95 for about an hour and  cut across the Yuma Proving Grounds to the Imperial Dam Long Term Visitors Area ( LTVA ) and paid my $40 for a 14 day stay. You have two fee options here, $180 for a 5 month permit or $40 for a 14 day permit. The fee covers your use of a top notch water fill and waste dump area, as well as trash dumpsters located at several locations within the boundaries of the LTVA.

There are a lot of folks scattered all around this very large area, but you can usually find a spot with a reasonable amount of privacy if that is what you are looking for. There are no utilities provided here, but there are rest rooms ( only near the main checkin area ), that I have never checked out so I have no idea what they may be like, and there also is a ” Liberry ” here where you can trade out paperbacks, and there is an amazing selection of books in that small repurposed Airstream.

One of the Neighbors
One of the Neighbors

Very, very quiet in the spot I found and I am doing a lot of reading, working on producing my BluRay slide shows, and even doing a little painting. With Yuma, Arizona, only about 20 miles away, I am also taking advantage of this location to get some long put off projects done, such as replacing my rear slide out topper fabric and installing some window awnings.

Sunshine is plentiful and in the first two weeks here, I have only had to run my Honda 2000 generator twice, my solar system keeping up nicely with my daily electrical needs.

Sam on Hummingbird Watch Duty
Sam on Hummingbird Watch Duty

I have set up my hummingbird feeders so I can monitor them through the front windshield, and though I do have takers here, a pair of Costas and 3 or 4 Annas, there just isn’t enough constant activity to bother getting serious about any hummingbird photography. Sam has picked up a new bird watching hobby though.

Sam
Sam Enjoying Her New Pastime
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird

I found these ” test tube ”  hummingbird feeders online and thought they would work great for hummingbird photo setups, but wasn’t sure how the hummingbirds would receive them. Turns out, they prefer these to the much larger traditional feeders I have. I bought a large syringe at Quartzite that I use to fill them and with the limited number of hummers here, I only have to fill them once a day.

Desert Tray-full
Desert Tray-full

I also set up a tray feeder on the side of the RV near a large spreading ( unknown to me ) desert tree. Traffic to it has grown steadily in the week I have had it out there, a large flock of house finches, a couple different sparrows…

Eurasian-collared and Mourning Doves
Eurasian-collared and Mourning Doves

… mourning and collared doves, gila and ladder back woodpecker …

Sage Thrasher
Sage Thrasher

… plus a few others I haven’t identified ( I think this is a Sage Thrasher, a new bird for me ), but nothing terribly colorful or interesting enough to set up the photo gear, yet enough activity to enjoy watching. So, essentially, I am just goofing off, accomplishing nothing, and enjoying the peace and quiet of the desert while living very inexpensively, saving up to pay for this next year’s traveling ( maybe another Alaska trip ? ).

So, unless something exciting comes along, it probably will only be a couple of posts a month until I leave the desert in March. Hope everyone is having a Happy Holiday Season!

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going

 

 

January 3, 2015 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

Roadrunner
Roadrunner

Yuma’s West Wetlands Park

After finding some information on the possibility of finding some burrowing owls at the West Wetlands Park in Yuma, I arose before dawn this morning and headed into the city to check it out. The park is located just off I-8 and easy to get to. The area that supposedly houses some of these owls looks more like a construction dump site than a natural habitat for these birds. I am guessing that all the 8 inch PVC pipe sticking out of the rock rubble on the site is actually the intended homes for the burrowing owls … and they well could be in there, I just didn’t see any this particular morning. Not too sure how great a photo it would make if I did happen to catch some of these little guys hanging around the end of some white plastic pipe.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Since I was here, and the park had some other interesting areas to explore , I walked on down to the hummingbird gardens to see if there was any activity there.

Roadrunner warming up the engine
Warming up the engine

As I was walking in that direction, I saw a roadrunner come out from the bushes and hop up on a large boulder along the trail. He stood erect, hunched his shoulders forward and exposed the dark, downy feathers on his back to the rising sun … his way of warming up the engine on a very chilly morning, I guess. Intent on getting some relief from the cold, he allowed me to get fairly close for some closeups, something I haven’t been able to do before with one of these guys.

Roadrunner
Roadrunner
Female Costa's feeding
Female Costa’s feeding

When the bushes are in bloom, the hummingbird garden must be something to see, and no doubt would be buzzing with hummers.

Female Costa's feeding
Female Costa’s feeding

This morning there were only a few blossoms here and there, yet there were a fair number of Costa’s and Anna’s hummingbirds flitting about.

Unknown to be, warbler?
Unknown to be, warbler?

I also got some looks at little warblers or who knows what else hopping around in the trees overhead, but they were moving much too fast for me in the very dense foliage. I have a lot of difficulty attempting to identify this type of little bird so forgive me for not attempting to mis identify it. If you are in the area this is a park worth exploring, even if you don’t get to see the burrowing owls.

Coopers Hawk
Coopers Hawk

Since I was out and about, I hopped back on I-8 and headed east to Exit 30 in Wellton to check out a potential boondocking spot a neighbor in Quartzsite had mentioned to me. Heading south from Exit 30 about 4 or 5 miles, you will see several RV’s camped out on the east side of the road just before the road crosses over a water canal. Easy access, flat with lots of decent spots to park, I may head down here when I leave my present location later this week. This Cooper’s Hawk ( I think ) flew in front of me while I was checking out potential sites here.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


December 26, 2014 Imperial Dam LTVA California

Imperial Dam LTVA
Imperial Dam LTVA

Imperial Dam LTVA and Wild Burros

Imperial Dam LTVA
Imperial Dam LTVA

My campsite in the Northwest territories of the Imperial Dam LTVA ( long term visitor area ) is nowhere near as appealing as the ones I occupied north of here around Quartzsite and it is so very much more expensive! I had to pay $40 for a 14 night permit to stay here where I have been getting very used to paying nothing. Stiil, pretty hard to seriously complain about spending less than $3 a night to camp here, and for that small fee, trash dumpsters, water, and dump station are conveniently provided.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Imperial Dam LTVA
Imperial Dam LTVA
Imperial Dam LTVA
Imperial Dam LTVA

But as you can see, this place is best described as barren desert, not much in the way of foliage and I can see one lonely saguaro way off in the distance to the north. And although no one is uncomfortably close to my site, there are definitely a lot of folks staying here.

Costa's Hummingbird
Costa’s Hummingbird

I have my hummingbird feeders set up and I have spent just one very chilly morning sitting out there trying to get some shots of the Costa’s hummingbirds …..

Costa's Hummingbird
Costa’s Hummingbird
Verdin
Verdin

and this single little verdin that comes in and commandeers the hummingbird feeder several times a day, defending it from the hummers I am trying to attract. His beak obviously doesn’t fit into the hole provided for the hummingbirds to feed, so this tiny guy tilts his head and somehow laps up all the nectar that spills or leaks out around the feeder port and collects in the bottom of the ” flower “.

 Wild Burros

Wild Burro Road Block
Wild Burro Road Block

I drove about 7 1/2 miles out the Ferguson Lake Road from my campsite to the Fishing and Hunting Clubhouse on the shore of the lake today. This is a nice ride through the desert on a pretty good dirt road except for the final mile when you get close to the lake and encounter several rather hairy 20% ( or more ) short ups and downs, though I was able to navigate them with the Prius.

On this short trip I made my first encounter with these desert dwellers, wild burros, descendants of miners’ escaped or abandoned pack animals many years ago, or so I have read.

Wild Burros
Wild Burros

I wonder who trims the bangs on junior ?

Wild Burro Family
Wild Burro Family
Wild Burros
Wild Burros

These last two were seen pretty much right in the area where everybody is camped and I since have seen burros walking through the camping area on a couple of occasions, so I’m not sure just how “wild” they really are.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !