Thursday, March 28, 2024

Back Home for Now

Long day on the road, Google maps said 8 hours from my campsite near Elephant Butte, NM but it's closer to eleven+ hours the way I drive.

I drive at 55-58 mph max speed you see, trying to not go below 7 MPG.  On a good day, it's 8+, and that's whether towing the Honda CR-V or Trailer with Ural behind the VRRV.

I left shortly after 7:15 AM and crossed into Colorado at 2:30 PM, making it home by 6:30 PM.    The only place I encountered congestion was while passing by the downtown area of Colorado Springs.  Now the lanes going the other way?  Parking lot.  Fortunately, I was going "against" traffic.

It was also parking lot conditions as I approached Denver but again fortunately in the other direction, going to Colorado Spring or exiting the cesspool that is the Metro Denver Area.

The weather was sunny but windy.  It was especially windy north of Walsenburg, CO in Huerfano County.

Managed to drop Yagi accidentally while unloading the VRRV, totally my carelessness and fatigue.  Bent her shift pedal (I think it can be straightened tomorrow with hammer and vise) and broke off both lights mounted on the front cargo rack.  Sigh.  Now, where's that Plasti-Weld dispenser?  This too can wait till sometime this week.

Still, not too bad considering I covered over 1000 miles in three days, I'm not used to that such extended driving in such short time spans.

Got lots to do the next few days if not weeks, so not sure when I'll go camping next.

Just glad to be home for now.

Note: VRRV driven 4724 miles this trip.  Jan 10 - Mar 28

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

One Night Stands Enroute to Colorado

 I have started heading back to Colorado and home since yesterday.

Tuesday, March 26

I left the BLM areas south of Ajo, AZ and spent the morning driving east, retracing my way back towards Tucson and eventually the Indian Bread Recreation Area BLM camp ground.

It was a mostly overcast and chilly day.  Since I was just staying one night, I grabbed the first available site and tucked the VRRV and the CR-V into it.

You can see the approaching rains above.  It would start raining but then it turned to hail!

We did get an hour of bright sunshine once the rains passed to the east but otherwise, it was a crappy weather day.  I even ran the propane heater in the evening as temperatures dropped into the high 30s by morning.

Wednesday, March 27

Left shortly after sunrise, and by 1 PM I was back in New Mexico and in the usual boondocking area to the north of Elephant Butte, NM.  It's my usual stopping point when going either north or south on I-25.

As you can see above, I didn't even dismount Yagi, my TW200 from the front rack.  Just unhooking the CR-V to make it easier to setup and level the VRRV.  Just one night here and then on to at least Springer, NM tomorrow!

Monday, March 25, 2024

Checking out Locomotive Rock

I spent part of the morning in Ajo, AZ doing laundry and getting some groceries and supplies.  When I returned and after the lunch hour, I rode to nearby Locomotive Rock to explore it further.  

I would end up walking to as close to the top as one can get without climbing gear and ropes.  Also eventually circumnavigate the rock, getting some exercise in while taking pics:

Locomotive Rock

the "front side" of the rock

in case you wonder what was in the gap
between the two big rocks

View from near top of Locomotive Rock:

Can you see Uma?

back side of the two major boulders 
comprising Locomotive Rock

Ajo Peak on the left, North Ajo Peak on the right

side view of balancing rock

Looks like a machine from the matrix movies

The Ocotillo Cacti are flowering

closer view of Balancing Rock

Black Mountain in the distance as I head back to camp

One last view of Locomotive Rock

Events back home have me returning to Colorado earlier than planned.  More to follow.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Now Boondocking near Ajo, AZ

Friday, March 22

I didn't do much of anything, just relaxing again, rediscovering radio stations over the Internet for musical intervals.  I did trim off the end of the rubber tube (which had split) that connects the crankcase to the airbox on Yagi, my TW200.  I'm hoping that's where the smell of burnt oil is coming from lately.

It was gloriously sunny and warm with no breeze.

Here's Friday's sunset:

Saturday, March 23

The day was spent just relaxing mostly along with prepping to displace.  It was solidly overcast most of the day, with the sun teasing me every once in a while.  It was moderately windy as well, a weather front moving through to the north apparently.

The sunset was pretty good though:

Sunday, March 24

I left the BANWR around 7:30 AM this morning, having done a lot of the prep work yesterday afternoon.  It had rained enough overnight to leave puddles on the desert floor, and muddy conditions in the low spots. 

I got to the BLM dispersed camping areas to the south of Ajo, AZ around 11 AM and found the first spot taken.  Oh well, managed to find another good spot, secluded but with weak cell signal, usable with the deployment of the weBoost cell booster.

I'm close to Locomotive Rock

I went on a very short ride on Yagi to see how the crankcase tube repair had worked (all ok so far) and get different angles on Locomotive Rock:

Near the rock's base, you can hike all the way to the
bottom of the gap between the two big rocks, perhaps tomorrow.

The southwestern side of Locomotive Rock

Friday, March 22, 2024

Relaxing in the BANWR with Views of Baboquivari

I'd spent the last couple of days mostly relaxing in the gazebo tent, listening to audio books and doing minor chores.

Wednesday's sunset was pretty good:

Thursday, I did ride out for about an hour or so on Yagi, my TW200, to get some closer views of the peak which dominates this valley: Baboquivari.  

A sacred site for the Tohono O'odham Nation, you can apparently hike up its western side (with permission of course).

According to Tohono O'odham cosmology, Baboquivari Peak represents the center of their universe, and is also the home of I'itoli, their Rock God and creator. The entire wilderness area is at a relatively high elevation, ranging from 4,500 feet to 7,730 feet

The pics range from the closest point on which I've previously camped to near my present campsite within the BANWR.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Back to Boondocking in the BANWR

I left the vicinity of the Dragoon Mountains/Cochise Stronghold yesterday and by Noon I was finishing setting up at a campsite in the Buenos Aires NWR: National Wildlife Refuge.

Saw this at Arivaca Junction as I got off the I-19 Interstate onto Arivaca Road:

Much bigger than the one in Banderas, TX

This is another of several camping trips to this area, I like it a lot, not crowded at all and pretty good views at times.  

Sunset was a non-event, no clouds you see.  However, around 7:30 Pm, I happened to look out the window into the darkness and saw this:

Eye-catching right?  I'd seen similar before while in Phoenix, AZ...I figured it was and had it confirmed later by my loving wife, Martha.  It was a SpaceX launch from Vanderberg Space Force Base.  Cool stuff.

This morning's view of the mountain range crowned by the Baboquivari Peak:

I'll be here a few days, not much planned for today.  I'm waiting for the USPS to deliver a letter from an Ebay vendor via General Delivery in Arivaca, AZ's Post Office.  I'd stopped by there yesterday enroute to camp, no luck.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

T-Dub'ing to the Gateway to the Cochise Stronghold

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Here's last night's sunset:

I went out after breakfast, once temperatures climbed towards the 50s, and rode Yagi, my TW200 to Forest Road (FR) 345 and from it to FR 697.  

This road, was apparently cut to provide access to mines up in the mountains, by Chinese laborers back in the day.  There's a camp (nothing remains but concrete pads where meager cabins had been) for these Chinese laborers.  

I've been up this road before: LINK

The views from the "Gateway" were quite nice though the road was quite technical at points.  Fortunately, I'd learned in the previous trip up this road to air down the pressure on Yagi's tires.  Again, this move made riding the loose rock and boulders manageable to one with my lack of skills.

The Gateway

A view of the shelf road leading to the gateway

I made it back to camp with no issues and no dropping of the motorcycle.  So a good ride on somewhat sketchy conditions!

I rested in the afternoon and packed up for displacing towards the BANWR tomorrow.