Sunday, January 11, 2009

Welton, AZ

After returning from Oklahoma, I met up with my friends at Welton, AZ. Welton is a small town just east of Yuma, AZ. There were only about a dozen of us parked out on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land just a mile south of the highway, but boy, did we pack a lot of activities into this week. As you will see we went 4 wheeling 2 times, hiking, visited a ranch, and those are only the things I posted photos. We went out to eat several times in town, had several campfires and watched football over at Kurt's where we had a potluck.

The wall between the US and Mexico. This was our first 4-wheel trip.
All of our 4-wheeling was done on Barry M. Goldwater Range, managed by the marines. To access this range you need a permit, not just the vehicles, but every person. So on Monday morning we all went to the local marine base in Yuma and got our permits, 17 of us. Several more went on the own later to get their permits. Then on the day you go, you have to call in and give the names and permit numbers and the number of vehicles, where you are going and about how long you will be. Hopefully this assures they won't be bombing in the area we are going jeeping.

Getting ready to leave.

This was the ultimate goal of the day, High Tank. It is just a hole which accumulates water. But in this dry climate, it becomes invaluable for keeping the wildlife in the area alive.

Climbing out of one of the gullys we traversed this day.

After getting the permits we went back to Welton and the Dobson Ranch. It is a living museum, in that the owner lives in the house, which is also part of the museum. Her furniture, knick-knacks, and all her decorations are antiques which she and her late husband have found throughout the US. Most of the finds were dug up from trash heaps and dumps. There is also hundreds of items outside as well, plus they have a small restored town which has been completely furnished back as close as possible to how it would have looked. Plus there were tractors and old motors and old motors and old motors, which her son started up for us.

Just one row of many showing off the old tractors.

Her living room wall is lined with old bottles.

In the restored town there is a mercantile store. Many of these cans have never been opened.

Here is the road going to the ranch.

Just a beautiful sunset I caught on the way home one evening.

We hiked Muggins Mountain.

It really was steep. We estimated it was about a 5 mile hike today.

We took the scenic route home from Dobson's Museum, stopping at Baker's Tank, named for the Baker Mtn Range. As you can see I wasn't expecting to go 4-wheeling that day and took my car. But my little HHR did well and kept up with the big boys that day. Luckily we didn't have any really bad washouts to go over or deep ravines.

Here we are in front of Baker's Tank. Another watering hole which stays wet most, if not all of the time.

We found some old tanks on the range and found one where the turrent still moved. It's amazing how much fun we have with some of the finds we make.

Our second 4-wheel trip was to the Betty Lee Mine. This was another mine we found along the way. The Betty Lee Mine was an old copper mine, whereas, this looked to be an old gold mine.

This is a rescue beacon. I wonder if anyone ever pushes the red button. We thought about it, just to see what would happen, but decided that probably wasn't a good idea. There was more to the sign indicating it was too far to walk out from this point, hence, the reason to call for help. We also wondered if this was for those atv'ers and 4-wheelers or the illegals crossing the border.

We finally found an old copper mine, whether it was the Betty Lee or not, I'm still not sure.

We found this cave of sorts near the copper mine. It would make a nice shelter and was probably home to some Indian family 300 years ago.

Yuma, AZ, then Christmas in Oklahoma

After leaving the Slabs mid December, I headed to Yuma, AZ, for a few days. I met up with some friends for a night of bbq at Famous Dave's, then on to a singles dance later.

There were 31 of us if I counted correctly. So you are only seeing a few. I believe we took up 5 booths and 3 tables pulled together, and several were seated at the bar.

There is dancing almost every night somewhere in Yuma. But at least once a month, if not more often, there is a singles dance. Most of the dances are held at various RV parks and have live bands, usually country.

And then I had a 1200 mile trip to Eufaula, OK, to have Christmas with my parents and youngest son. While I was there my dad celebrated his 85th birthday.

Mom, Dad and Sam.

Mom, Dad and me.

My son's jeep. He likes the mud. But I figure you would never have guessed. He assured me that he keeps the front windshield and drivers window clean.
Following a week stay in Eufaula, I headed to Oklahoma City, stopping on the way in Choctaw, OK, to visit friends. Art, Sarah and their girls, Alyssa, Kylie and Audrey, are my extended family and I try to see them whenever I can. And BTW, it was Kylie's 6th birthday on the day I stopped by. After a few hours visit, I moved on to OKC, where I stayed with my friend, Ginger. It was New Years Eve, so we went and had dinner out, then came back and she made home made eggnog and oh, was it good. She didn't make it to midnight, but I did, barely.


I realized I never posted about my trip to South Dakota to see my new granddaughter and staying through Thanksgiving. I usually don't go north where it is cold, but this was a very special occasion. We had light snow and cold while I was there. I left Phoenix and the temps were in the high 70s, and when I got off the plane in Sioux Falls it was 29 degrees. Brrrrrr.

Prepping the turkey for frying.

Stealing pieces of crispy turkey after it was done. Yum, Yum!

The 3 older brothers of Caitlin.

Uncle Chris, with Caitlin, and Brian watching Bob cook.

Even at 10 days, she has a sweet personality.