Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More beauty of the desert...

After departing Roosevelt Lake we spent one night back in Casa Grande to flush out tanks and split the driving to California into two days rather than one very long drive.  That evening just at sunset Dick went out to get some pictures of the sky and turned around to see this beautiful, full 1/2 circle double rainbow.  By the time he got the picture the second rainbow had faded but still got this one with the pot of gold on our rig.

The next day was not the best day to travel but we went ahead and made the trip to Yuma Arizona and then across the boarder to Pilot Knob RV resort in the very little town of Winterhaven California.  We ran across heavy winds and then got into heavy rain and finally sun as we got closer to our destination.

The desert does strange some interesting things when it rains, especially the ocotillo that will sit dormant and looking dead with no leaves until a few days after a rain the very small leaves will come out and then beautiful large flowers at the top of each stem.  While walking one morning we ran across this one that had started to put on it's new coat of leaves.

A closer look shows the new growth but it's a little hard to see the sharp sets of needles that we find on most plants in this area.  The leaves are tiny and don't require a lot of water but will start to drop off as soon as the plant starts to dry out again and then sits there waiting for the next rain to start the process all over again.

Another Ocotillo, but this one decided to only bloom the flowers and not produce leaves.  Must know something we don't.

This is a closer view of the very beautiful flower that is about 6" to 10" long.

On another day we took a trip to Castle Dome Mines Museum where a wonderful old mining ghost town sits about 10 miles out on a gravel road in the Kofa National Wildlife Park.  Over 30 buildings have been moved  from the surrounding area to form a town and they are all full of original furnishings.  A must see if in this area.

The main entrance building has a very unique exterior as hundreds of these boxes were left when the silver mines finally shut down.

What are they, you say?  Just click on the picture and be glad they are all empty.

A typical view of the inside of one of the buildings where most of the treasures are just laying around for you to pick up and inspect but those thing that might wander off are behind lock and key.

One of the 5 bars that helped make up this town in it's heyday.  All 5 bars are filled with old bottles.

Looking across the center area gives an idea of the size of this little town.

Not shown was one building where the walls were all painted white and all military personnel asked to sign.  There are thousands of signatures and notes.  Another building people have put up business and personal cards with push pins on all the walls.  After adding ours' we looked around and found one of our friend Steve Grobstig.  What's the chances of that happening?!!

During WW II General George S. Patton used this area for tank-training exercises and had camps set up in the desert between Quartzsite and Yuma area.  We have run across some of the areas in the past while snooping around the desert; we found where a camp had laid out a huge compass rose on the ground with the name of the camp or nearest town.

While traveling to the museum we saw three areas where the surface gravel had been removed in adjoining areas and wondered why this was done and when.  We raised the question and found that during the training the army set up rows and rows of tents and who wants to sleep on a bed of rocks so now have a smooth place to sleep.  Well it's a little smoother and still remains after 60 to 70 years.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Nita said...

We really enjoyed this post. Beautiful pictures!! Al wants to visit that mining town. How far is it from here? We really enjoyed having lunch with you both last Sunday. Safe travels!!