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March 30, 2024

Chasing the eclipse 2 - AZ-NM

After lunch I mentioned to Gay that blog on Patagonia Lake, found HERE, inspired me to book a stop there.  She offered thoughts on the scenic route, or the faster route.  But failed to mention there is NO diesel on the way!

We really liked our stay there.  I think it is the quietest park we ever stayed at, that is after the daytime ruckus of the birds settles down.  We had a great site!

view out our dinette window

The park maintains bird feeding stations at the Visitors Center and along the trails.

I’m a novice birder, I’m sure this is the first time I scheduled a stop just for birding.

In addition to birds there are boats,  A B&B, as Fran says … Birds & Boats.  Fishing was popular, as were kayaks, a couple pontoons were rented during our stay.  Dang no pictures of the Marina, nor of the Market and Gas Station.  The gas station only offers  87 unleaded.

A foot bridge separates the Marina from the main lake.  The height of the bridge makes me think there must have been sailboats in the past.


The birds are not very shy, as they seem quite accustomed to have their photo taken.

Our little hummingbird feeder had to be refilled a couple times.

The closest diesel is in Nogales.  So in the morning we were off for breakfast and some fuel. 

Yes it was 20 miles RT out of the way, but a beautiful drive and a good breakfast.

We took our time as the Sonoita Wine Trail does not open until 11.

We arrived at Hops and Wine at exactly 11, and were the 3rd car in the lot!

A fun stop but the name is totally wrong!  Hops & grapes, beer & wine, or bines & vines. would make more sense.  But not mixing …

We did collect our souvenir stemless wine glass.


I was looking forward to Rune!  But we left without even a wine glass … nor a picture!  SWEET wines! YUCK!!!

I’ll sum it up we (I) was not impressed with the southern wine trail.

But there was still hope on the eastern trail.  There, Coronado Winery was our first … and last … stop.  A wonderful stop! that will continue to be on the list.

We paired our tasting with a pear and blackberry flatbread.

Back on the road...

Veterans Park in Lordsburg NM is about a mile off the freeway.  No traffic or train noise.  Each site has a covered picnic table and grill.  Best … it it FREE!  Thank You VFW Lordsburg!

We are currently in Dell City TX, at a fun little RV Park with full hookups and great Wi-Fi.  Fran’s watching the tennis finals while I work on the blog.

Tomorrow ... Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  I’ll be adding another sticker to my Christmas water bottle.

13 to go ….

March 28, 2024

Chasing the Eclipse - CA- AZ

The total eclipse will be April 8th.  And passing right over our Dayton house.  With the new tires on Rufus he's ready for a Road Trip.

DAY 1:
After a brief stop at the Buckman Springs Rest Area for a leg stretch we were ready to deal with the Yuma traffic.  We no longer stop in Yuma but continue on to Wellton for gas.

But YIKES!  The Chevron we usually stop is now selling E-Diesel.  Diesel infused with Ethanol.  I did use in once while passing thru Bakersfield.  Rufus coughed and sputtered and went into Limp-Home-Mode.  $1600 damage!

However the Circle-K in town had real diesel!  Our new Wellton stop.

The Antelope Hills Petroglyph Site is just 7 miles east of Wellton.  Our trip has now begun.

I learned of this site from San Diego’s Arm Chair Hiker on his blog
HERE.  As he points out the site is next to a significant mining operation and access to glyphs is restricted.  But it was a nice quiet place to stop for lunch.

The small parking area has a kiosk that details the history and a bit about the glyphs

Most of the glyphs are located high on the hillside.

Fran and i were married in Palm Springs, and a Date Shake is kinda our beverage for a toast.  Dateland has sure grown since our previous visits.  Got an EV, they have chargers! and it’s become very popular.  A bit of a line and we were off with a medium date shake!

I had planned on spending the night at Dateland, but it was still early.  I knew the glyphs at Painted Rock would not disappoint and were a couple hours away.
We have camped at Painted Rock for many years, but things change.  It was free, then a $4/$2 fee was imposed , now it’s $8/$4.  But the gotchya is the payment must be made online at Recreation.gov!  and with poor cell service there … and the $8 ‘convenience fee’ …

We spent a nice night under the stars there,  The ‘Painted Rock’ is now fenced off.  That’s good as folks like D.E.W take pleasure in defacing them. 

Just hope D.E.W lives to regret this

There are still many to enjoy.

Last time we were here in 2018 the Camp Ground Host and friends set up a golf course,  That blog is HERE

DAY 2:
After topping off the gas tank in Gila Bend we turned south toward Ajo, Why and the Oregon Pipe Cactus NM.  We’ve driven through Ajo many times and this time stopped at the City park to have lunch,

… and take in some of the many murals the town is becoming known for.

That's gotta be Frida! Right?

A nice view of the school with Saddleback Mountain behind.

Having been to Oregon Pipe Cactus before the Wall was built we decided not to see the damage first hand and continue on to Tucson.  Our destination was the Lazydays KOA.
Awesome Arizona clouds did bring a little rain

DAY 3:

The RV park is huge!  All the amenities of a KOA and located in Tucson.  This worked out really great, altho a bit expensive.  Nice FREE hot showers and an easy drive to El Charro where we had made plans to meet with Gay and Joe for lunch at El Charro.  This is the same place we met last time, and I again ordered the Carne Seca Poblano, it's so good.  They are such a delightful couple to be with, we are privileged to be their friends.

With good friends Joe and Gay for a good time, good food and a lot of caching up.

Fran Joe Gay and me

We currently settled in at Patagonia Lake State Park.  We need to go to Nogales in the morning for diesel.  Didn't have any on the way here!  Plan accordingly ;)

March 22, 2024

Borrego Blooms – day trip to Borrego Springs

My county library card was due for renewal.  Normally this would be a fun bike ride from Pepper Park to the Imperial Beach library, or the short drive to La Mesa.  But Fran is doing her prep for our trip to the Eclipse … There’s wildflowers in the Borrego  So I’m off to the Borrego Springs Library.  And the Anza Borrego State Park.

I stopped for a machaca breakfast burrito at Jilbertos.  As the Bayfield bunch one said; “Things wouldn’t be right with the world if we didn’t pop into Jilbertos after first arriving in town you know."  Al recommends their hamburger, I do not recommend their machaca breakfast burrito.  Too much grease and moisture, the tortilla fell apart.  Hamburger for breakfast next time!

Enough typing/reading.  Let’s check what’s left of the bloom, while I'm looking for a Desert Lily.

My first stop is Henderson Canyon, always everybody’s favorite stop for wildflowers.

Henderson Canyon
Henderson Canyon
Henderson Canyon

The flowers are mostly small groups in a sea of verbena.

Sunflower, Buckwheat and Dandelion

Showy Sunflower

Showy Sunflower


Sand Verbena



Non-native mustard finding a home in the dried cracks of the mud.


Dune Primrose


It was a nice seeing the late season flowers, but alas no Desert Lily.

For my next search, I planned to try Coachwhip Canyon.  But first, I wanted to stop for a visit with Daddy Dearest at Fonts Point, as it's on the way.

DD’s forever view

And right above where I distributed his ashes over a decade ago is this shabby Desert Lily!  Thanks Dad!

Desert Lily

Check out the root system of this Ocotillo! 


Some serious erosion!  It’s not only still living, its flowers are well established.

With my quest for the lily complete,  I am free to head to the library and renew my county library card.

I like to walk through the community gardens across the street from the library.  Just a couple pix for encouragement for you to do so on your next visit.


There are some dandelions just outside of the library.

With a my renewed library card, it was time to check out cactus.  They typically bloom after the wildflowers.

Prickly Pear


Silver Cholla
Silver Cholla



Teddy-bear Cholla

Jumping Cholla

To remove cholla I carry a pocket comb to flick the culprit off.  Also tweezers to pull any left over spines out.  In this case I used a propane lighter to burn the leftover spines off.


Barrel Cactus

I bet the cactus bloom will be a vibrant sea of color next month.

The bar at the American Legion opens at 3.  I could have had an adult beverage or two, but it’s still a bit of a drive home.

I enjoyed my day, trust you had a good one too.

Now back to prepping Rufus, we’ll be leaving in a couple days!