I moved from Yuma to Wellton, which is about 20 miles east. Myself and about 30 other RVing friends are parked on government land a mile south of town. Early morning walks with the dog along the canal and off road touring of the area were all part of the week, but the first thing we did....
was go out to see the sight of the new Dateland Arizona Solar Energy Project, located about 50 miles east of where we were parked.
The project will eventually comprise about 2400 acres of solar panels out in the desert.
These solar arrays will generage 925 gigawatts of electricity. (Remember Back to the Future and Dr. Brown was concerned about generating a mere 1 gigawatt?) Construction has started but is not expected to go online until 2014.
Just down the road is the small town of Hyder, where we planned on stopping for a burro at the town store. But were we surprised when we got there and it was closed. I guess everyone is being impacted by the downturn in the economy. The store is now open only from 2-6 daily, except it is closed Sunday. So we headed back to Dateland and stopped for date shakes. mmmm mmmmm.
The annual trek is always to "the fence". What fence you say? Why, the border fence. There are miles and miles of the fence separating Mexico and the U.S., located south of Wellton on the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range. After getting our special permits to be on the range, off we go to "the fence". Wait, I think someone is trying to sneak through......
The border fence is not really designed to stop foot traffic, but to stop vehicle traffic from heading across the border with illegals or drugs.
I wonder if these are more 'aliens' trying to sneak across?
About a mile from where us was this Border Patrol doing is job and watching the activity along the border.
Notice the little Saguaro Cactus. Although small, it could very well be at least 10 years old. They always start out underneath a small tree or like this, an elephant bush. As they grow up they take more and more water away from their "nurse", and eventually the nurse tree dies. What gratitude!
Cactus art in the desert.
Just a beautiful desert view.
We took off road trips and on the first trip we eventually made it to Tule Wells, once a stopping place and rest area along the Camino Del Diablo or Devils Highway. Now it is a campground in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
Up the hill was this monument. I just had to go see what it was.
A dedication rock, mostly built by the boy scouts long time ago.
On the way out we kept seeing these piles of rocks and I remembered reading that many people were buried along the old travel route. Maybe this is an old burial plot. Maybe? The Camino Del Diablo has been a route across the southern desert since the 1600s. I think it must be the oldest highway in the U.S.
Most of the road was high clearance, but not 4-wheel drive, except for this spot. Everyone made it through with no problems and it wasn't as bad as it looked, except for a couple of the wider vehicles.
These stations are located throughout the desert area and the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range. They warn people that you cannot walk out of the desert from this location and it is dangerous. Just push the button and they will come get you within an hour. "No Carolyn, don't push the button...."
We found the platform you step on to push the button is actually a sensor pad, which also alerts the Border Patrol. Although we never pushed the button or stepped on the pad, there are other sensors in the area. The border patrol was coming down the road towards us with their lights on. I guess we set all kinds of sensors off and they were coming to investigate. No worries, just some old seniors out playing in the desert.