Our year started of with Dave pulling his back out on New Years Eve while setting up our work table, a week of light exertion and he was much better. Thankfully he'd gotten most of the work done on the battery install and could sit back and rest.
Friends from Gulf Waters RV Resort in Port Aransas TX stopped in over night to say hi. It was great to have some one on one time with them as we got to know Linda and Patrick much better. Thanks guys for stopping, see you next winter in TX.
On the 11th we headed to Quartzsite, a short 3 hour ride from Cave Creek. We were there for an Grand Design Owners Rally, it was great to finally put faces to names. As one of the admins for the Grand Design Owners Facebook page it was rewarding to meet so many of the great people that make up our group, the group is relatively drama free and full of friendly helpful people...such a pleasure to be part of the group. Lots of good food and new friends made for a delightful experience.
For 5 nights we dry camped at Quartzsite and learned quite a bit. I doubt we'll ever go with solar as Dave doesn't want to mount anything on the roof but we do need to get another generator, one Yamaha 2000 isn't enough. We did make it to the Big Show, I was surprised that there were so many vendors that were not RV related. So after visiting the show and looking at all of the Grand Designs we came away still pleased with our choice in floorplans and a small gas fireplace for when we can't have real campfires.
The Elephant Mountain is comprised of two peaks with the trail going through the saddle.We approached the saddle from the "back" side which has a short but steep climb to the saddle.
One of the "perks" of the working at Spur Cross is we can take the closed to public trails with out a ranger. One such trail exists at the saddle, it takes you up one last steep climb to a fortress area, while I needed rest Dave didn't want to sit for very long so headed up to the fortress. He still has tendinitis issues so if he stops for too long it flares up.
On top of the shorter of Elephant Mountains two peaks is what is left of what was once an Apache Fortress. The Tonto Apaches were the fiercest local Native American tribes and from their fortress they could see any enemy coming. The walls to the right and below are a few of the walls left of the fortress.
During out time in the higher elevations we were treated to the site of some early wildflower. The recent rains bode well for a wonderful wildflower display over the next few months.
On our hike down was through a forest of Saguaro Cactus.
One day our walk turned into a walk/hike/tour, as we prepared for our walk we noticed that there was going to be a tour of Clay Mine going on also. The tour is an "open house" where the ranger waits at the Clay Mine and takes groups in and explains the history.
Because of all the quartz in the area early prospectors returning from California thought there would be gold here. Alas there was very little but there was a clay chalky substance that one very enterprising women decided to market. This was during the days of dysentery and the women added a little of the chalk to water and soon folks were not spending as much time near the outhouse. This product was the forerunner of Kaopectate. So while no gold was found there was value in the old mine.
|Life is good, especially with friends with fire
|Until next time...