A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This is the center of the world.
There is nothing here.

Nov.18 - 20
On through El Centro, which is an wi-fi Internet black hole, and after a couple hours of fruitless hook-up attempts, we continue on to Yuma Arizona where internet connections are plentiful and gas is cheap – like 50 to 60 cents a gallon less and motorcyclists do not have to wear helmets. Now there are those who may be wondering, so for this one time only, I will list statistics thus far. The first fill up in Victorville the Little Box recorded 18.3 mpg and this day in Yuma, it was 20.2 mpg. Yes, I am smiling every time I fill up. J We went back west on I-8 5 miles to Pilot Knob, a free BLM site for the night. There are Border patrol vehicles all along this Interstate – our tax dollars at work. It looks like a very boring and lonely job sitting in a truck all day perched on top of a knoll scanning the horizon with binoculars. The accommodations for guests in the trucks have all the appearances of the local animal control vehicles back home.
We drove 20 miles north of Winterhaven through agricultural land to another free BLM site recommended by Big Bill at Mountain Palm Canyon. I am not sure we are at the right place but it will do as there are about 70 other units here widely spaced out on a vast bleak volcanic parking lot of a plateau. These are big coaches, fifth wheels and long trailers – not the usual rabble I have been camping with. It is very quiet here too except for the occasional bomb explosion in the distance. At dusk, I went for a walk flushing out a Gray Fox not more than 30 feet from me. If I encounter no other animals on this trip, that fox alone was worth the price of admission. He was very cat-like as he trotted away with his big full bushy tail outstretched. The moon now is half-full and the landscape is amazingly well lit. I look forward to the full moon in a week’s time.
The next day we re-enter Arizona and up Hwy 95 when I come across a sign ‘Mittry Lake’. This is the place Big Bill was telling me about. I had been on the wrong side of the river. So with no hurry to be nowhere in particular we turn off, drive the 20 miles north and find neat little camp spots nestled in coves of rushes along a tranquil small backwater filled with scores of American Coots squabbling and fluttering about. Now another old coot has settled in.

Nov. 21 – 23
A front has moved in and for the first time in over a week, and I am back to wearing socks and a flannel shirt, but I am not complaining. I see it is in the 30’s at home so I am smiling, just like I do when at the filling station. The urge to move on is unforgiving and I leave Mittry Lake without breakfast. Within an hour, we are passing through U.S Army Proving Grounds out of Yuma. With helicopters buzzing overhead, tanks and personnel carriers rumbling past and ordinance exploding off in the distance, this is a nice place to eat a bowl of hot oatmeal. A left turn heads us north and bucking 20 mph plus side and headwinds the 59 miles to Quartzsite, AZ. Two nights at 14-day limit BLM sites (free) south and east of town. This place is the Mecca for RV’ers. There are 100’s here now from all over the country and Canada. After the first of the year, they will number in the 1000’s. I thought this would be a haven for me in the years to come but I’ve learned now, no way. I can’t do it. This is not me. Quartzite too earns the distinction of being a wi-fi Internet dead zone along with El Centro.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for transmission from Gila Bend... was there once in my teens... August temp was 115 degrees. My son and I saw full moon from San Diego, where we spent a short, 2-day vacation over the holiday.


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