Joshua Tree 1

January 28th

This was our last day at Q. Our trailer is above the red arrow.


We left Quartzsite on January 28th and headed over to Joshua Tree NP. We can’t fit into any of the campgrounds in the park so we stay at the BLM area right at the south entrance. The winds weren’t too bad headed west on I10, some gusting and blowing sand.

The spot we’ve stayed in before was taken so we set ourselves up on the east side of the park road. As soon as that was done we headed into the park and hiked from the oasis at Cottonwood Springs and did the Mastodon Peak loop. We had done the same trail 2 years ago when we stayed down here. From the top of the trail you can see the Salton Sea over to the southwest.

We went for a walk along the section of BLM and didn’t get very far before we found a couple from Windsor, ON and ended up sitting for a few hours swapping stories and consuming beverages with Bill and Sue.

The first night here was very windy and at midnight I pulled the slides in to put an end to the slide topper flapping. The next morning a small motorhome vacated a spot on the other side so we hooked up and moved ourselves a couple of hundred feet.



Quartzsite, AZ

January 19-20, 2018

We arrived here in Quartzsite after a short drive up 95 from Imperial Dam. Lots of traffic in town as we rolled straight through and headed up to Plomosa Rd. Looks like I need to get busy and clean the bugs off the windshield.

We pulled off onto the north side and crossed a couple of washes before parking and getting out to walk around a bit and pick a location. Got ourselves setup on the north side of a wash after a short stroll. We face the door side south so that I can tilt the panels. The trees give us a little bit of privacy.


There was no fire pit in the right spot so we collected a few rocks and after the sunset we had a fire. A group to the south of us was releasing paper lanterns that floated overhead and dissapeared into the night.

Saturday morning we made our way into town to go to the big tent at the RV Show. We didn’t rush there early so we dealt with the crowds and crazy parking. After driving in the entrance on the south side of the tent we wound our way all the way out the bottom and into the wash. It looked like it was every man for themselves with people parking wherever they could stick half their vehicle into. A number of vehicles had become stuck in the loose gravel. When it started getting loose I switched to 4Hi and motored on. We eventually ended up on Tyson Wells Road and went south a bit until I could find a place to angle park off the side of the road. After a walk back we arrived at the big tent. We weren’t really looking for anything as I find the prices Β in Q to be higher than I get get most things at other places. Had wanted to get an Oxygenics showerhead for a while now and found one inside the tent at $38.95 and after a quick phone check I found Amazon sold it for $32.81. From what we overheard in the tent I wasn’t the only one comparing with Amazon. One loop through the tent and we were outside. We did collect some guides for various states. Also spoke to a fellow that does RV tours in Europe. In an outside booth I found the shower head for $30. Done deal. It was a 5 minute install when we got home.

One of the reason for going to the show was to walk through some of the RV’s there. We’d like something smaller than what we have. Found a few 32-35′ fifth wheels that had workable interior layouts. Sales people were only too happy to make a deal. πŸ™‚

Got back out to the truck where Jane stopped traffic so I could back out and turn around. Sure didn’t want to head east on Tyson Wells as the lineup went all the way to 95. Went the other way and stopped at Pilot to top off the fuel tank. I prefer to use the truck islands as the diesel pumps are way faster than the car pumps.

It clouded over when we got back in the early afternoon and looked like it was raining south of us.

Too windy for a fire last night so we sat outside and listened to a group that had the guitars out and were singing. More paper lanterns floated over and lots of stars to stare at.

Los Algodones, Mexico

January 18, 2018

Jane and I headed off from Imperial Dam for a day trip into Mexico. We parked at the lot near the border for 6$ and walked across. Obviously Mexico wants us there as there is no border check all. Jane thought she had avoided the check by coming out the wrong side of the washroom. πŸ™‚

We were immediately bombarded with dental, optical and pharmacy reps looking for customers. My glasses are good, wrong drugs and I’ll skip the dental work for now. Reminded me of the beaches in Jamaica where all the locals wanted to sell ganja.

Jane got a 10$ spa pedicure and bought an 11$ ring while waiting (started at 20$). After that we wandered around and had some awesome shrimp tacos with a couple of cervezas for a total of 10$. We looked around a bit and bought one of the ubiqitous Mexican blankets for 20$ (which started at 35$). I’m all for the deals even if I don’t need anything!

Any Canadian Hydro worker would have a fit looking at the overhead wiring in town.

The lineup to get back out was quite long and it took us 1.5hrs to get through it. Lots of people carrying the stuff they bought from various vendors.


Goat Canyon Trestle and Corrizo Gorge

I had found information online about the rail line through Corrizo Gorge and the curved wooden trestle up in Goat Canyon. It was a couple of hours drive from Imperial Dam so we set off Saturday morning with the bikes loaded on the back of the truck.

Near our destination the interstate climbs from sea level up through a pass to 3000′. Off on a smaller road I spotted what looked like a film shoot. Either that or it was an alien landing as there were two flying saucers sitting on a flat bed. No pic of that as it went by too quick to get the camera out.

We exited I8 at Jacumba and took the dirt road towards the DeAnza Spring Resort. There are a couple of small parking spots on the side of the road and we found an empty space we could back the truck into. Some hikers had parked at the gas stations and walked up the road. Others paid a 5$ parking fee at the Resort (it’s clothing optional in there by the way, we stayed out). After unloading the bike and grabbing the backpacks with water and food we headed to the rail line which parallels the road.

About a mile up the rail line we came upon the first set of rail cars. They are parked onto a siding but are derailed at one end. Lots of graffiti on them and over the years they have seen a lot of vandalization.

There is a pathway alongside the rail line and for the most part it is an easy surface for biking. A number of trestles are encounted along the way and we walked the bikes across these. The pathway is mostly on the side of the rail line with the drop off and at some points it gets narrow with larger stone on it.

There are a few tunnels along the route to ride through. A few of them are long enough that we needed to use the headlight and flashlight that we had brought with us.

There is a second set of passenger rail cars along the rail line. These also have garnered a lot of graffiti.

Over the years since the rail line was first constructed there have been attempts to repair damage caused by weather. Old rail ties, various construction materials and an old box car are scattered along the way.

As we rode along we passed bikers heading back down the trail. One couple were hiking back out after camping the night at the large trestle. We were told a few times “you’re almost there” and we came out of the last tunnel on the southern route and there it was.

Lots of people at the trestle. Some hikers and some bikers. You can see the old tunnel that was destroyed and caused the construction of the trestle. It’s in the background of the picture of me on the trestle.

It’s a long way down to the ground from on top of the trestle.


A ballast car is sitting at the north side of the trestle on the original route past the canyon.

The trestle can be accessed from the south which is the way we came. You can also get there by following the rail line from the north with an access point somewhere south of Borrego. The trestles in the distance of these pictures is the northern route.

Another route is to climb up and over the mountains from Mortero Palms which is about 2.5mi but a serious climb according to the college students I spoke to.

After spending some time at the trestle we headed back down the rail line. Didn’t seem as long getting back but the winds seemed stronger and weren’t pushing us in the direction we wanted to go.

The trip was 6.95mi from where we parked to the trestle. It took us 2:05hr to get there and about the same coming back. With our half hour break at the trestle it was 4.5hrs total. The trip in from the north side is supposed to be about 3mi according to a person I spoke to.

There is more information about the railway atΒ  World’s largest wooden trestle is in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It is old and talks about trains on the track but considering the rock slides onto the rail line that isn’t happening any time soon.

I use the MapMyHike app on my phone to track our hiking and biking trips. It doesn’t use any data or cell connection until I want to save a trip. Good thing too because between trading the stock market every day this year and uploading lots of pictures I’m getting too deep into our monthly 10gb on my phone. We just use one of our Rogers phones when in the US and it’s roams our home plan. Cheaper than getting a US plan. If mine gets to the 10gb then we’ll have to roam Jane’s phone as well to get another 10gb.


Imperial Dam Part Deux

We went for a drive towards Yuma in order to stop at one of the fresh produce stands and get some fresh fruit and veggies. The first place we stopped at was listed in the booklet as having produce but had obviously determined selling antiques along with soup and sandwiches was more profitable. We continued on and found a small stand with some items. Bought a few things but the prices were nothing special. Tomatoes and cucumbers were cheaper at Walmart. Can buy cantelopes and pineapples cheaper back home but then we’ve always found that food is more expensive down here for the most part.

On the way back we stopped at the military hardware display area. They were still working on the parking lot so we parked on the road. Must have been a government project. One guy running the line painter, one telling him where to paint, two supervising and one watching the paint dry.

These are pictures of the display boards that were setup.

One of the tanks had some battle damage.

These are the rest of what was on display. Tanks, recovery vehicles, howitzers and missiles and a launcher.


Imperial Dam

Jan 8-11, 2018

We left Organ Pipe NM and headed off towards Yuma on Jan 8. The sites and access lanes at Organ Pipe are quite tight when hauling a 40′ fifth wheel. The sites are well spaced and very nice though. I ended up having to back out of the site even though it is a pull through as there wasn’t enough room at the front of the site to make the turn onto the laneway between site rows.

Not far north of OP we came across another Border Patrol check station. Looked like the agents were having a good time when we pulled through. They did do a full walk around of the trailer and looked into the truck. When we told them where we were coming from the agents comment was “You’re brave staying there. That’s one of our big hot spots for border activity”. Well thanks, glad Jane didn’t know that going in.


We drove up through Ajo, AZ. A nice looking little town with lots of interesting buildings. We didn’t stop anywhere and just snapped some pictures as we drove through.

With a fuel stop at the Love’s Truck Stop in Gila Bend we headed off west on I8 towards Yuma. Here’s a picture of the Edge CTS2 I use to monitor the engine while we are hauling. Lets me watch EGT’s and more and show when it enters a DPF burn which kills the fuel mileage while it’s happening.


After leaving I8 we found our way onto Hwy 95 and followed another RV into the Imperial Dam area. The entrance off Hwy 95 is pretty clearly marked by a couple of very large guns. There is also a display of military hardware just off the highway but the parking area was being paved so we couldn’t stop there. Will have to get some pictures of it all when they are done with the paving. Did see a helicopter mounted on a post at the main Army base gate. Looks to be a Huey Cobra.


The Imperial Dam LTVA entrance was staffed with a Canadian couple originally from England. We took on some fresh water and headed out to find a site. Found a nice location with a view of the water (if we look carefully in the right direction). Someone has created a guitar with stones on the ground here.


After setting up we took a drive around the North Shore of Senator Wash. Friends had stayed there last year down by the water. There was no way I’d be taking our trailer down that route but if you have a smaller and lighter RV it would be a nice area to spend time. It’s a different fee area for camping in.


I got my drone out to take some aerial pictures of the area and our site.

On the 9th it got windy and the dust was kicking up. Then it rained some but barely enough to dampen the ground. There was a nice double rainbow that followed when the sun came back out late in the day. Need to go over to that fifth wheel (they are from Ontario, near Toronto) and look for the pot of gold. πŸ™‚


We took a trip into Yuma to get some supplies and stopped down in the historic district on Main St. A craft brewery called our names and we stopped in for a couple of beers and a snack.

Planning to take a drive over past El Centro on Saturday. Seems there is a clothing optional resort out that way though so I’ll have to make sure we don’t maake any wrong turns. πŸ™‚