Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Great Day..and a Thank you to Barney

If you have never been to Brantley State Park, it worth a stop….lots of stuff to do within a 50 mile radius.
Our Route for most of the Day...(c)2015 Horst Kelly Photographer

I got up about 0500..did the normal stuff one does at that time of morning than sat outside with my cup of Java and waited for the sun to wake up… We had planned on leaving at 0800….and did….and the Adventure started….Barney not only gave me a tour of the entire area….but also a detailed history of the area as well as the best dispersed camping spots….we went up several…he showed and explained how to tell if you where on BLM and/or National Forest land vs private land……The Road most traveled this day was rt 137..and its arteries.
Not the preferred road to El Paso....(c)2015Horst Kelly photographer
The road to El Paso....get Gas NOW...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

First we went to the Back side of the Guadalupe Mts.  called Dog Canyon..I think it sits at about 6000+ feet..primitive camp sites..maybe 8-10….some well shaded and lots of opportunity for serious hikes….to try and capture that with a camera is impossible…at least for me it was…I originally had thought of camping there for a night…after our visit, I am glad I did a day trip…do to the time and distance from our take off point….it would be better served to stay 3 or 4 days….which I don’t have….But I will do that some day….next went to the Rim Road…what a magnificent ride that was..gravel but well maintained and numerous pull offs…….Lunch at one of the pull-offs...what a panoramic view of the canyon….Most folks wouldn’t believe you if you showed then pics and said that that was NM……
Went all the way to the end of the rim and then back down….its now early afternoon and we still had the Falls we wanted  to see….first was getting down the rim…

View from the Rim..lunch spot...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
An attempt at panoramic view..(c)2015Horst kelly Photographer

….another great ride through some super dispersed camping areas… and a find I would never have guessed would be in this desert, Arid, environment….  The Falls where tucked away in a corner of the Canyon…and probably 200 or 300 feet high…has a pool that one can go swimming in…the only problem the sun was shining in such a fashion that a head on, full length photo was impossible…but I didn’t care…what will stay with me is the “day itself ”……those are the memories that are important…. spent about 45 minutes to an hour there…..I again got lost thinking about the first settlers that came across this area and what there thoughts where….Most of the photos need to be stitched into panoramic views and my on the road computor can’t do that…so I’ll do those and post when I get home….
The Falls..(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
Falls...(c)2015 Horst Kelly photographer
Falls...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
At The falls....(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
The Fall photo’s don’t display the magnificence of the area…I should go back today….but there will be another time..

One Final area was a drive through…..and before I knew it we where in Carlsbad…although it was 5pm….Nine plus hours that felt like it went by in 10 minutes…What a terrific way to end my Trip this year…

I want to thank Barney for taking the time  to show me the area, …and " Having Toooo Much Fun".....Thanks....Horst sends

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Stonehenge on Steroids...and another New Adventure with a Surprise

City of Rocks Campsite...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

Woke up around 0500 on the 10th…still a wee bit dark…made a large cup of java and sat outside to watch the sun rise over the horizon….since I wanted to get to City of the Rocks as early as possible I hitched up as soon as I could see…then got cleaned up, had a banana for breakfast and hit the road…its about a half hour drive north before you reach l-10…plus you have a Border Patrol Check Point…It’s a boring drive…speed limit 75 and or 80 and I have my blinkers on doing 55…..The wind started picking up and the flat dusty terrain was a break from the boredom….got to Deming, took exit 82? and headed North about 35 miles to City of Rocks State Park…..It’s a good thing I had decided to Dry Camp as all there “hookup” Sites where taken…in fact 90% of there Dry Camp sites where taken…I had forgotten about the National Holiday and 3 day weekend,  I went around the loop, had referenced some other Blogs that provided what they thought where the best sites…of Course all where taken….I come to the last bend before being back at the Visitors Center….sitting up on a knoll, engulfed by Boulders, was campsite 45…..yes I had to back up hill, yes there was a couple obstructions, etc…..but what a find…when I parked it was like camping at Stonehenge…The structures wrapped themselves around  Ms Casita as if to say…”while here I will protect you, little Egg”….
1st sunrise at City of Rocks CG...(c)2015 Horst Kelly Photographer
Took about 30 minutes or more to set up, unhitch and sit back and relax……a nice breeze was coming through the rocks..its has a tunnel effect…opened everything up and just RELAXED….initially I signed up to leave Monday morning, but decided to extend my stay until Tuesday…not that I was going to go on any great hikes or do a lot of stuff…just hang out, do the hikes in the Park and may venture out one day to see Gila National Forest area…..and what a great stay it was..Met a couple with a Casita of from Lubbock, Tx…. There was also an Oliver here, never so the folks…..
City of the Rocks Cg...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
City Of the Rock CG...(c)2015Horst Kelly photographer
CoR from a hillside...(c)2015Horst Kelly photographer

Monday I went on my drive to the Gila National Forest…what a treat that was…..within 30 miles from Gila monsters scorpions and rattlesnakes and lot of cacti and sand, I am in what first appeared to be similar to Glacier….and then it was a twin of the Smokey Mountains…it dropped 15 to 20 degrees,had tall Pine trees, I could just imagine Black Bears roaming the area…and the road just kept on climbing Emery Peak finally 8228 feet…it sure seemed higher..I don’t think I have ever traveled on a mountain road with so many “switchbacks”.  Along the way I so five Camp Grounds..most only had tent sites however Iron Creek CG had about 5 sites which could accommodate   a small camper..surrounded by pines, pit toilet and isolation…oh and a mountain stream right next to you…I debated long and hard about that being my next stop….decided I didn’t want to pull a camper with all those switch backs up and down that road….but it was tempting…a couple of glasses of Merlot..and who knows…
Gila National Forest...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
GNF, notice the road...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
GNF...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

So the 12th I leave for the back side of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park…with in interim stop somewhere in New Mexico…..more to follow… more of CoR...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
It is now the evening of the 12th…my new camp Ground is Brantley Lake State Park, sits on a lake…hookups for 14 dollars….It is Between Artesia and Carlsbad NM…and the icing on the Cake…

...Barney of OFM is here…..tomorrow he is going to take me to the back side of the Guadalupe Mountains(something I have wanted to see since stumbling upon this place last year) and then some Water Falls…looking forward to both!!……we had dinner at a BBQ place, good stuff, and got caught up swapping Lies about our adventures..Great start for a new Adventure...Thanks Barney....
Of  Course a sunset from my CoR campsite...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer 

   Until next time, Happy Trails, and thanks for taking the time to stop by....Horst sends

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Trip of Surprises.....Tom Mix, Lowell Az and a Ghost Town....

Evening view from my Bed(side window)....I don't think it can get any better than this....
(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
As much as I wanted to...oh, stay....just one more day, I knew it was time to move on. ... my destination was in  the Tombstone/Bisbee  area....I was looking for a Boondocking spot, but they appeared to be South right by Douglas...I had wanted to land at Rustler Pk...which is run by the Forest Service...Its South of Wilcox, NM in the Chiricahua National Monument Area..when I called to get some directions they said it was closed for maintenance until the 12th....gave me some other places...mostly for tents and also said some of the roads where suspect at this time...I went to "Plan Z" and ended up at Tombstone Territorial Rv Park off of AZ 82.....a park geared to Canadian Snow Birds...A nice enough park with more amenities then you could ever want...and with Passport America its 16 dollars .....I decide to stay until the Tomorrow I roll East and plan on landing at City of the Rocks CG north of Deming...will end up with a Boondocking site...the weather is suppose to be OK for solar....
Church with Supersitions...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
Since I was last here in 2011....I decided to do some exploring....and I found two places I had not seen previously...the first was Lowell, right at the edge of Bisbee....It was only a couple of streets and devoted to Indian Motorcycles, vintage Cars and Vintage Gas stations, etc...I spent about 45 minutes walking did bring back the  mid to late '50's....Terrific stuff...
Lowell...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
As I was making my way up to Bisbee, it started to turn somewhat ugly as well as when I drove into Tombstone...since I have been to both places it was no great disappointment...Tombstone is a little to commercialized for me...It's more like a "Universal Movie Set" from L.A. rather than the Historical site its Billed at...Don't think that back in the day they had too many Ranch Hands or prospectors walking around main street with a parrot on their least not for long...oh well...
Lowell...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

Lowell(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

That reminds me...on my way down here as I was traveling on Highway 79 from Apache Junction, I came upon a Monument...It was for Tom Mix...the most famous Hollywood Cowboy of the '20's/'30's...apparently at that spot in the road he crashed his 1930 something Cord automobile and was killed...see photo below...Yes I had to stop and take some pics and read the history of the event..... he was 60 when he died....was quite the Ladies Man..married 5 times...etc....
Tom Mix write-up

Tom Mix Road Maker
Tom Mix Road Side Monument

Ok, back to my stay here...The other "Find" while here was Fairbank Historic Townsite...I was about 1/4 mile from my CG when I said a sign ...turn here..I did and a couple 100 yards in  was this ghost town...only a couple Building that the BLM had restored....including a Museum in the old 2 room school house...with a volunteer that works there Friday through Sunday....
Teachers House
School House

Here is a little History on it from a BLM website...
"Fairbank is a "ghost town" located within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (NCA), along the San Pedro River. Its life as a town began with the construction of a railroad in 1881, and it soon became an important depot as well as the closest railroad stop to Tombstone, then one of the largest western cities (15,000 in 1882).
Originally called Junction City, Kendall, then Fairbanks, it was officially named Fairbank on May 16, 1883. The name refers to N.K. Fairbank of Chicago, who helped finance the railroad.
The town, was built on an old Mexican land grant, the San Juan de las Boquillas y Nogales, which was bought by the Boquillas Land and Cattle Company in 1901. The company evicted all potential land owners, but continued to lease the mercantile building and a few residences well into the 1970's.
The Bureau of Land Management acquired the land that was once the Mexican Land Grant in 1986 as part of the San Pedro Riparian NCA."

If you enjoy Old Towns and are into History...its worth the stop and the volunteer on duty was very knowledgeable... 

This evening did a little straightening and organizing of the Casita...laundry, and will grill a steak with salad and cowboy beans....I plan on pulling out of here at first light...its about 230 miles, but since its the weekend, you never know how filled up it will I want to arrive as early as possible...

Until next time, Happy Trails and Thanks for taking the time to stop by!....Horst sends

Another Arizona sunset...(c)2015 Horst Kelly Photographer

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Optimism-Is Going after Moby Dick in a Rowboat and taking Tartar Sauce With You

A Friend sent me the header quote in a email  and I got a chuckle out of it and thought I’d share it…..
The Superstitions....(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
I got up around 0430 on the 4th still trying to decide where I wanted to head next…In the end I think I always knew…and it was the Superstition's..I had first gone there in‘11….I enjoyed my stay then and it ended up being one of my favorite places to visit… I hitched up and pointed “Grif” South…..and by 0715  had gassed up and  heading on “Scenic” US-89  South to Flagstaff…it is a lonely road…traffic is almost nonexistent until you intersect with US-160 near Tuba City. There are a few Hamlets I recall only five…Bitter Springs, Cedar Ridge, The Gap, Cameron and Gray Mountain….At Flagstaff I took l-17 to Phoenix..…and what a  Free fall ride that was…Grab your ankles, close your eyes until you land in Phoenix…I guessing you drop about 4 thousand feet in elevation ..every time you think you’re done you hit another 7 degree “Super-G slope”… …  of course driving through Phoenix is something everyone is wanting to do…NOT…its just about like driving in El Paso…Mind you, this is not fact…just my humble opinion….
Starting To Get Cloudy  Sunset..(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
Made it out of the City and before you know it, I’m in Apache Jct.  and a stones throw from Lost Dutchman State Park…and my reward for having “survived” l-17 and The Phoenix 500 was getting site 32…an unobstructed  view of The Superstitions….I look out my Bedside window and there it is…with all its history staring back at me…and I remember why this is one of my favorite places.
It is now the evening of the 6th and has been overcast and/or raining since arriving…Sooo,  I have extended my stay until the 8th…..I have done a few hikes and drove out on Rt 88(East)….great ride that I never tire of…also took some roads around the Superstition's….until I hit dead ends….and when it rained I read and starred at the Mountain…..I am indeed in a relaxing mode and enjoying every facet of this trip…..
Storm Arriving...(c)2015 Horst Kelly Photographer
Don’t often get this way..but sitting here looking out the window reflecting on my trip the poem Desiderata pops in my head…specifically the first sentence…” Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence”…..
Its Arrived...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
Tomorrow the weather turns to Blue Skies and I will get out and explore …So until next time …Happy Trails….I attach some different faces  of The Superstitions…Horst sends
Yes.....(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It Seems Like it Only Keeps Getting Better....

Red Canyon...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
Bryce NP...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer
I could have stayed at the Red Canyon CG for another week or longer….and Bryce needs a revisit…..I did make a trip to Zion. It took a little longer than I anticipated…though I stopped several times along the way to take some shots…..Entering the Park took a little while and the traffic was somewhat heavy….I enjoyed the numerous pull-overs….it’s amazing  how different the terrain, vistas,  landscape , etc are from Bryce…..I am glad that I finally got to experience this “Mecca”…for photographers, Hikers, Campers….and Tourists wanting to see the Natural Wonders of this Area….and there is a lot more to see and experience than just Bryce and Zion……Where I camped, Red Canyon, though not large in square miles, has some great “Kodak moments”…..The history of Butch Cassidy is rich in this area, and more…..  I will return!
Bryce Np...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

So on 2 Oct I packed up and pulled away around 0800…and back to Page I an oil change, some provisions and then just "vegging"….Last evening I met a couple who own a BigFoot….and where Scamp owners in a previous life.  They still go to some Fiberglass rallies…in fact asked if I had been to Quartzsite..or if I had any plans on going in  the Future…..neat folks….some of you may know them…Philip and Catherine… ….also met a couple from a place I use to hang my hat when I was gainfully employed….this cruising in a camper is a great way to meet  folks….  did a bit of sightseeing in the area…went to Lee’s Ferry…another unique place..several great hikes….and a NPS CG…sits up on a knoll, covered picnic table, nice views…I did not  know it existed…it will be my landing strip next time I come here…..did not see my Condor this time….   
Zion NP...2015Horst Kelly Photographer
I am pulling out tomorrow, 4 Oct and heading South…or East.....don’t know exactly where I will stop…east could put me in Pagosa Springs, or South could put me  somewhere around the  Superstitions..Either place is a  great area  to roam around  for a few days and capture some “memories”…I’ll leave you with a couple photo’s…internet is really slow….till next time…Safe Travels..Horst sends

Red Canyon CG...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer

Red Canyon...(c)2015Horst Kelly Photographer