Western Arizona

January 12 to January 30


On Saturday, January 12, I leave Kofa NWR and return to Yuma. Actually, I camp in Winterhaven, CA, just across the AZ state line. The Colorado River is the boundary between Arizona and California in this area. I return to Ogilby Road where I camped last year. I need to do some things in Yuma. And when I was in Tucson, I tried to get an appointment for dental cleaning. The places I called required too much lead time. So I decided it was easier just to go back to Los Algodones in Mexico. I can call a week or so ahead and get an appointment. So much easier, and the cost is lower. That is also on my to-do list. Ogilby Road isn’t an especially pretty area. But it is convenient for taking care of business stuff. The Verizon signal is great. I also get all the networks with OTA antenna. I watch very little, or no, TV but I do like to watch football. I’ll be able to watch the NFL playoff games here. One negative is a railroad track is about half mile away; and I believe it is the busiest train route in the whole United States! It seems every 30 or 40 minutes a train goes by, and all through the night. It’s quiet here except for the trains!

Click to view all photos in this post


Cargo Muchacho Mountains at Ogilby Road BLM area

Now that I am at a lower elevation and the terrain is pretty flat, I can get in some bike riding. I really need to get in better condition for riding that new bike I bought last July!


My still new REI Co-op bike!

Winterhaven, CA is in the Imperial Valley agricultural area of California. The Valley is a desert, receiving about three inches of annual precipitation. However, with irrigation from the Colorado River it has become one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the US for winter crops. Most of the salad greens, broccoli, carrots and other vegetables grown in the US from December to March come from the Imperial Valley.


Imperial Dam on the Colorado River


Date Palms are grown here also. Date shakes are very popular


On Wednesday, January 23, I drive back north on Hwy 95 to Quartzsite. I am camping with friends at the BLM Scaddan Wash 14 day camping area.


Sunset at Scaddan Wash camping area

I go to the annual RV Show in the big tent a couple times. Kevin and Cindy who organize the Kofa Rally have started a new business selling a product that Kevin designed. They are exhibitors at the show; and I want to stop by to visit them and take a look at their product exhibit. They have developed a system that electronically raises, lowers, and locks in place solar panels mounted on an RV roof. It is operated either by a switch or a remote and is very slick! No more climbing up on the roof to tilt the panels! Their company name is solaRVector. They are on the web at solarvector.net if you would like to learn more.


The Adult Day Care is very popular 🙂

I learned that Ricky Nelson’s twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson would be performing their Ricky Nelson Remembered show in Quartzsite. Cindy had seen them at the FMCA rally and loved the show. I’ve wanted to see them since hearing about it. Cindy and I go to the Friday night show which is at the Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA). It’s a ton of fun. Of course, all the retired RVers that descend on Quartzsite during this time are the perfect demographic; the crowd response is overwhelming. We are whooping and hollering LOL!


Venue for the show

They play many of Ricky’s hit songs and show some great video clips from his life. He was an amazing person.


Ricky Nelson Remembered Tribute Show


Gunnar and Matthew Nelson

I loved Ricky Nelson back in the day and was so sad when he died in the plane crash. Matthew and Gunnar are accomplished musicians in their own right and perform as Nelson. Their music ranges from acoustic to a country rock sound. They play a couple of their songs, including A Thousand Wild Horses which I loved.

A Thousand Wild Horses – Nelson on YouTube

Saddle Mountain BLM

The RV show ends on the 27th and everybody takes off either Sunday or Monday, January 28th.  On Monday, I head east on I-10 to Tonopah, AZ. There is a BLM camping area called Saddle Mountain that I have read about and have wanted to check out. It is a short 75 mile drive and is just about 5 miles off the interstate. I love short travel days 🙂

The camping area is pretty large, but the ground is covered with a lot of rocks. One has to find an area that is clear of the rocks and big enough for your rig. There are several short spur roads off the paved road. I find a place on the road that goes right up to Saddle Mountain.


My camp at Saddle Mountain

The view out the back window is fabulous. There is one party in a Casita not too far from me, but no one else is close by. One of the complaints I read about was the enormous amount of flies. But, I thought, it can’t be THAT bad, haha!  Well it is!  Oh my gosh, by the time I finish going in and out to set up and get level there must be 50 flies inside. It’s awful! I spend hours swatting them, which Misty hates; she is so skittish about everything. She knows a fly buzzing around means I’m going to start chasing it with the fly swatter. As soon as she sees or hears one, she runs to her cubby hole.

It is overcast, chilly and windy. And with the flies, it isn’t pleasant to sit outside. I open the door as little as possible and start feeling claustrophobic. On Tuesday, I do get out for a hike up to Saddle Mountain. I hike around a small hill with a pinnacle on top. That’s fun but a pretty easy three miles. It’s a cloudy day, not the best for photography.


I hike counter-clockwise around this hill


A few poppies blooming here and there


Up through the notch leads to the other side


Coming around to the starting point

Tuesday evening, the clouds break up just enough to get some nice lighting on Saddle Mountain. As the sun drops to the horizon, the mountain takes on a fiery glow.


Saddle Mountain at sunset

My plan is to meet up with friends at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument the end of the week. I couldn’t take any more of the flies and having the Nash shut up. I decide to leave Wednesday morning. I like this place; it is a convenient stop over if one is traveling I-10 west from Phoenix. However because of the flies, I don’t think I would stay here again unless I really needed a stop over.

Tuesday ends with a glorious sunset!


A nice farewell from Saddle Mountain BLM

6 Comments on “Western Arizona

  1. Last two Saddle Mountain photos are mouth watering desert shots indeed ! Exceptional photos as usual, thanks !


    • Thanks Bob! I was happy the clouds broke up enough for a nice sunset. It has been mostly cloudy and cold recently. I imagine these next couple months will be hectic for you and your wife as you prepare for your travels. I remember how crazy that time was for me.


      • Yes, chaos is the expectation, but house is sold; domicile (SD) and ultimate wintering home destination area chosen. Truck purchased & planned trailer also selected – we have been tracking dealer inventory and prices for a while now. We know when wife leaves job (April), so a basic outline of chaos is bounded just like weather. Always possible detours, pitfalls and wonderful synchronicity to look forward to as well as learning how to do it all. One step at a time and it will be fun if we get lucky. Will keep you posted !


      • Ha!!! That all sounds very exciting! Glad everything is moving along – house sold, truck purchased and trailer selected. Those are some big steps. I’m sure you’ll do great and hope you both enjoy. Yes, keep me posted!


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