Saturday, April 04, 2020

Uraling the Sandy Dunes of Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area

Pretty good day today, sunny and warm, almost too hot!

I put the new Heidenau K37 Knobby tire that I'd had on Fiona as a spare, to use as the pusher tire as there was sand to be ridden today!

No issues doing the tire swap, though the sand in the campsite proved a bit unstable for the bottle jack until I made sure the rig wouldn't "rock" as the pusher wheel was lifted off the sand.

 The BLM Site Host lent me the required flag for riding in the dunes.

I rode the main trail about 4 miles to get closer to Javelina Peak:

I then returned to the vicinity of the campsite area to try Fiona's traction in the dunes and sandy "trails" nearby.  Just in case I got stuck, I wouldn't have a long walk to the host's site to ask for his help.  Turns out I didn't need any help, Fiona did great!  I did have to use 2WD most of the time though in order to keep up momentum on the steeper portions.

Lots of fun criss-crossing among the dunes, not really tackling the big dunes yet.  Then I got back on the main "road" and exited the recreation area and drove Fiona on the heavily cratered paved portion of road.  I'm talking medium sized bomb craters in some cases!

 The snowy peak is Mount Heliograph

 Another shot of Javelina Peak from Hackle Road, the access road
used to link the towns of Bowie and Safford.

Going back into the recreation area, I went all the way to Area C where the hot tubs are, and the wider parking areas for day users are located.  This is the area where most of the ATV traffic seems to have been headed towards.  The campsites are mostly in area B fortunately.

Dang ATV and dirt bike riders, apparently the 10 MPH speed limit on the main access road is but a suggestion to them.  This is why we can't have nice things.

Anyways.  They've drained the hot tubs due to Covid-19, they don't want people to be that close to each other you see.  I'd tried riding Yagi to the hot tubs for these pics:

Here's remnants of the drilling hardware used to tap into the hot water pocket that was discovered back in 1928 while drilling for oil in the area.

Then I tried some of the small dunes and sandy trails and there was a lot of dabbing on my part.  I think I just go too slow, speed is apparently a requirement but I don't want to "go down" while moving it'll be mostly riding on Fiona for me there rest of my time here in the Hot Well Dunes area.

I returned to my campsite, parked the rig and later took a short walk to get some pictures of the flora. 

 Prime Bloom Condition


Spent some time reading my e-book at the stone picnic bench that is part of the campsite.  It's in the shade of trees so it was really nice and comfortable conditions.  I spotted this bird nearby and had the camera ready with the telephoto lens.  I'd spotted this character yesterday you see, this time I was ready.

A Cardinal in Arizona!  Go figure.  :)

Prior to sunset, close to 6PM or so, I took Fiona into the nearby dunes again thinking I'd find a nice spot to pose her with the sun setting in the background.  Climbed a few dunes looking for a spot but didn't find anything usable.

Still, I did manage a couple of pics of her on a tall dune.

I got back to camp, a bit of clutch disk odor coming from Fiona as I had to do a bit of slipping the clutch each time she would start to get bogged down!  She climbed the semi-steep dunes just fine but a running head start and constant acceleration was mandatory!

Then I took the camera and tripod, and walked to a good spot after trying several, to get this shot of the sunset.  No clouds, but good color.

I like this campground so far, and bonus, the BLM isn't collecting the $3/vehicle fee that is due!  I forget the reason but most likely it's Covid-19 related somehow.


CCjon said...

Look like you found greatt spot there. Are there more people there than your previous locations?

redlegsrides said...

There’s three other campers besides the camp host, but the sites are pretty secluded. The weekend had brought atv and dirt bikes running slightly amuck but not bad at all....some of them left after sunset so perhaps it’s back to just campers.

SonjaM said...

What a beautiful bird, good "catch", Dom. I guess you'll be quite safe out there in the desert with regards to the virus. Enjoy your freedom to roam, my friend.

redlegsrides said...

I was quite lucky indeed SonjaM, thanks.

RichardM said...

I like the flag. Maybe it should become a permanent accessory. It’ll help with visibility on the road.

redlegsrides said...

I agree RichardM, but probably not in primary roads.