Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A pretty little Gecko out getting some morning sun by a piece of old mine machinery. Since it's Sunday, he didn't have to work at the GEICO office today.

Why, AZ, consists of 2 gas stations-quick stops. It's also the junction of Hwy 85 and 86. Hwy 85 goes about 20 miles south to Mexico, 86 goes about a hundred miles East to Tucson. There is also a very small casino there.

Why Not. The other business in Why.

This tickled me. We're really out in the desert, miles from Nowhere (actually about 200), and here you can have WiFi in your tent. Better than some motels in the cities!

One of 2 large pit mines in Ajo. LOTS of tailings are piled in the surrounding area. The mine shut down in the late 70's.

A cross on a hill. Taken with a lot of zoom. Nice, for a Sunday morning.

This old Mission is now the museum in Ajo. It's not open now, but will be tomorrow so we'll come back. If you click on the picture and look just to the left of the cross on the steeple, you'll see the cross on the mountain from the last picture.

Some kind of observation dome. It's empty inside, but you can see where the machinery or telescope used to be mounted. The track with the sliding opening looks like it still would work if the electricty was connected. Don't know what it is, but will find out.

Don't know if you can read the sign, but this wagon is about 110 years old. Used to haul frieght and Gila Bend to Ajo, later was a water wagon in Ajo.

This is a safe with the door blown off. It says you can make deposits 24 hours a day, but don't put in anything you can't afford to lose

A nice little courtyard at the museum. This was part of the old Mission.

Huevos Rancheros at Marcela's in Ajo. Very tasty breakfast!

Inside Marcelo's. They are always featuring a local artist, the pictures are for sale.

It's early morning, still chilly enough for Pat to put on a sweater for our Mountain Ride.

We rode about 20 miles..lots of nothing to see, except for some nice cactus and a lot of fresh desert flowers. It's a little early for most of them. Pretty wild country out there.

As we got back closer to Hwy 85, we started passing huge piles of different colored "tailings" from the mine that operated here for years, and was the whole purpose of the little town. Now, it houses a lot of Border Patrol people. If it wasn't for them, it would probably sort of dry up. Tomorrow we'll be going to the Pipe Organ Cactus National Monument, should have a little more interesting ride. Right now, it's off to the Swimming Hole at the RV park.

This is a little town (can't remember the name) about 40 miles East of Yuma. There is a good Basque Restaurant there. It looks like a good lunch place for a motorcycle trip real soon after we get back.

La Siesta RV and Motel. There is a good tennis court right behind us, then a nice little pool. Lots of trees and flowers in the park. It was totally full, but the person using this site left to spend a week in Mexico, so they let us use it for 4 days.

This was the nice little Ice Cream shop in the old Theater on the Plaza. Don (VSP), Steve (SAG) and I ate here a couple years ago. It now has different owners, but the food it good.

WiFi is very slow and hard to get at the RV park. It works well here, but I forgot to bring the AC cord, and the battery went dead. I'm posting this from the Rec room at the park.

Pretty flags over the Ajo Town Plaza.

East Side of the Ajo Town Plaza is an old Railroad Station. It's still in limited use, and is also a musuem now.

One of tow beautiful churches on the Ajo Town Plaza.

The other church. They are shiny white and the grounds are well groomed.

The old High School is now a "live in" artist coloney.

Sort of junky looking, but this is the best DQ we've been in for a long time! I won't even begin to describe how they make a hot fudge sundae.

Best Western Coronado in Yuma. I think this will be the Kaw Pasture for the Lettuce Ride next March. If we can get 20 rooms reserved, they will give us a pretty good deal. More on this later.

This little chapel is about a half mile off of Hwy 95 (10x zoom for this picture). They have an Easter Service every year, and it's open every day for people to stop and meditate. It's right in the middle of the farm land.

These purple flowers are everywhere now, in the desert. There are a lot of yellow ones too, but I like the purple ones the best.

Near the US Army Proving Grounds, North of Yuma.

Don't know for sure, but I was told this is a Border Patrol Blimp that does surveillance along and just North of the border.

Almost 20 miles round trip of washboard and loose gravel getting out to the old Mine. The dome on the left on the horizon is Castle Dome, my destination.

The desert is getting greener and the cactus larger as I get closer to the mountains. Some are just starting to bloom.

I was surprised at the size of this Ghost Town. About 2/3 of the buildings are original, the rest are modified or rebuilt from fires, etc. It was a lot larger than I expected.

One of the original cabins,

Barb Foree could come down here and go right to work! I'm sure her Arizona credentials would be accepted here! There was a school, church, a couple of stores, 2 bars, several living cabins, and all the things you'd expect to find in a small mining town.

This room, and the one next to it are reserved for Veterans. Hundreds of signatures with branch and dates of service. Sort of a nice touch I thought. Obviously not part of the original town, but the buildings are original.

One of two bars that were left about as they were back "when".

The largest store. There were a couple others besides this one.

This isn't the original church, but is suppose to look like the one that was here.

Kitchen in a store and living quarters. There was a diary there that was pretty interesting.

This case was used to hold a variety of goods in the store when it was open.

Castle Dome was a City until the mine ran out. Now there is only one couple that live there and maintain the museum. That's the Dome in the background.

The other bar. This one is a little more "up-scale"

"Suzi" was about shaken apart! I had to take off the GPS since the screws were coming loose on the mount. And, the mug had to be emptied and put in the trunk since it was bouncing all over. When I got home, it took a trip to the car wash to get all the dirt and dust off.

There are MANY places in Yuma County to get Date Shakes, but this is one of the best. Nice and thick, and a lot of Date pieces in them. I was sitting at this table and met an older couple from Myrtle Point, OR. Just a few miles from where we live in Coos Bay.

Yes, Yuma has a Kawasaki Dealer. I've never been in there, but will check it out prior to the Lettuce ride and let them know there may be a few Vulcans in the area. I'm sure Bob La Londe,
who has lived here a long time, would probably know all about them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

South Yuma has what we call "the Mexican Swap Meet". Always lots of pets there, as well as people selling puppies. This little Chihuahua is 10 weeks old, weighs a couple of pounds. They sold her for $125. It's real hard for me to see these little ones, I want them all. This little girl wanted her, but the Daddy said no. We had a good time looking anyway.

We rode out to the Date Farm for a Shake, but they were closed. This is Wayne and Sharon, our neighbors in the park. The rear brake on his Harley quit working on the way out here.

This guy isn't selling wheels, he's selling polish. You can find ANYTHING you may be looking for out here. Pat picked up 5 or 6 boxes of Zicam cold medicine, some cookies, and some other stuff. Big sack full. She paid $8.50 for all of it!

We're getting ready to head out. It was in the 80's by now, and we were all too warm. A few minutes after this picture, Wayne discovered that his rear brake was locked. We didn't have many tools, but even loosening the bleeder valve wouldn't release it. Ended up having it towed back to the RV Park, and he'll let the Harley dealer fix it. Just 3 weeks ago the dealer here had flushed the system and changed the fluid. They probably put something back together wrong. All in all, it was still a good day and a nice ride with new friends.

Chunk, John (slick), T0ny D and Pat visiting in the parking lot waiting for the "Guest of Honor"

The group minus 2 (Hal's oldest son and his lady) Here we have Chunk, Hal (Redeemed) his wife, Trudy Slick, Katie (KT) Tony D, Pat, Andrew and Ryan. What a treat to see KT, and to meet a new family. We met Hal in Oregon last July, but Trudy and boys are something special! Been a long time since we've seen such well behaved and interesting kids. We all enjoyed their company a LOT!

Sweet Tomatoes food was all right, but not as good as I remembered. Maybe because Jack and Barb wasn't here this time to share with us . I'm sure we all got enough to eat, and the company was terrific!

Slick has been working out and watching his diet...yeah, right!

Hal's oldest son, Matthew. I missed a picture of his pretty girl friend, bummer on that. He's a Firefighter here in Tucson, and has the arms that John (about the same age) is dreaming about. I think John has a long way to go!

Our "Guest of Honor"! and what an honor it was to share a meal with this Special Lady! KT is visiting her sister in Tucson. Next weekend she'll be down in Old Mexico for a 4 day weekend. She has a lot of fun planned for her vacation. We're glad she took out time to share with a few VROC folks.

"Old Blue Eyes". Chunk gets a good bye hug from Pat and Katie. He drove down from his wilderness camp last night so he could ride over with us today. It was 240 miles from our driveway in Yuma to the Sweet Tomato in Tucson. We got home around 7 PM, Chunk left to drive back to Lake Havasu City. It was a perfect day! Good to see Slick and Tony always is! Those of you that didn't make it were missed. And talked about. Oh, it got up to 84 degrees on the way home, and was still 76 when we got back to Yuma this evening. Spring is here!

Brother Coyote is howling at the moon. I think I'll have to add a few more so he won't be lonesome! I've named this one "John".

Is this tacky enough? Fanny the Flamingo will be friends with Frank, who is hanging from the carport roof. That was a donated by Dave and Romy a couple months ago I may have to add the "Biker Bird" Flamingo from Kelly, he's hanging in our garage at home. I think he'll be happier here in Arizona next winter.

Dave, Kymberli, and Romy entering Mexico! It's a lot faster getting in that it is getting out!

We passed up some of the "fine dining" places and settled for Huevos Rancheros in this little street level cafe. The coffee was instant, but definitely strong enough. The food was good too, and not too expensive. We all enjoyed a "Taste of Old Mexico"

After doing some shopping, the tourist decided to get a shine. Note the plastic bags on Dave's left. They contain my new Pink Flamingo, and a Brother Coyote for our lawn decor in Yuma. The Coyote always reminds me of Snake. He also had a thing for "Brother Coyote". We had talked about it several times.

I managed to get Dave set up with who I consider the best shine guy down there. He really takes his time and does a good job.

Not bad for a 2 buck shine! The guy told Dave he could come back tomorrow and pay to have the other one done He was joking of course, and did just as good a job on the other one.

There are lots of small Indian Ladies selling all sorts of things. I wasn't really interested in paper flowers, but it made for a colorful picture. I gave her a dollar (she didn't ask) and was rewarded with a huge surprised smile.

Kymberli's Mexican treat (one of them :-) Muy Bonita!

Dave is telling us about the Fireworks in Lake Havasu. Seems the weather turned out real nice, and they had a good ride up there. They also went to Oatman and Laughlin to deposit some Canadian money into the local economy.

Dave found a nice sized checker board in the Cracker Barrel gift shop.

Romy (Pebbles) and her daughter Kimberly. She was riding with DD on this trip. A very nice young lady!

DD is having a little brain time trying to solve the Cracker Barrel puzzel.

Everyone else had dinner kind of food, but I stuck with the Country Boy Special. I had to pass on dessert!

Last night the Westminister Dog show was on TV, and a lot of VROC folks were posting their dog pictures. This is "Sofia Jewel", but we call her Julie or Baby Cakes. She's getting close to 11 years old, and is the apple of my eye! This picture was taken on her 10th birthday.

Our neighbors, Wayne and Sharon, with Pat. It was only 65 degrees this afternoon, but we took a little ride out near Imperial Dam. Went through all the Date Orchards in Bard on the way.

A BIG Gun. There are two on them here at the enterance to the US Army Proving Grounds

We're deciding whether to head back to a bunch of tanks and other weapons we just passed.

The Ocotillo's are starting to bloom. These cactus have some wicked stickers on them!

A heavy crop of dates on this palm.

Sharon and Pat are making an inspection of the gun.

Wayne is checking it out. This is a big muther of all guns! I think it was 280 MM or something like that. The barrel was 41 feet long, it weighed 47 tons!

Sherm and Pat in front of a rocket launcher. It's going to take a long time for the hair go grow back:-(

The blonde lady was there with her husband, they are dry camping somewhere up in the high dessert. Very friendly folks.

This is what a Good Year tire looked like in the early 1940's.

This is the site of Army Camp Lagume. One of several in the desert South West that were active during the early part of WW2. Over a million troops were trained here. This particlar place was used to train men for the Italian theater during the war.
The open air musuem had about 20 different tanks, Howitzers, Anti-aircraft guns, and rockets. Some were used in WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam.

My favorite was the Ol' War House. A Sherman Tank that had been shot up pretty bad, but was used during the later part of WW2. The picture is below.

Sharon checking out a REAL Sherman Tank. Lots of history here.

A little trailer park a long way from nowhere. Hmmmm, maybe we can move our Park Model up here for some peace and quiet next winter.