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Searching for burros…

Posted by on March 16, 2014


"The Cul-de-Sac."

“The end of the Road.” The only way to go was “back” and of course there was no space to turn around! That’s what reverse gear is for, right?

OUR SUNDAY DRIVE. We decided to take a drive today and shoot some pictures.  We’d planned to cross Parker Dam and head toward Laughlin…one of our favorite drives. However, on the way our plans changed and it turned out to be a fun day, even though totally different than what we’d set out to do. Specifically,  we saw a sign that said “Crossroads…Off Road Area.” That’s all I needed to see. I made a hard left turn across the asphalt and headed down a bumpy dirt road with sagebrush and big rocks on each side… presumably an easy drive on a well traveled path. We saw wild burro poop as we began our drive, so we decided our adventure today would be a “Burro Hunt.” Florence assured me that I needed to keep driving.”The burros,” she said, “live way back in the hills.” Gosh, I’d forgotten she knows all about wild burro habitat!

OFF ROAD WITH THE JEEP: Well, the road wasn’t really a road any longer…more like tracks along the ground which proved to me only that an ATV  or an Army tank had been there before us! That’s it. There wasn’t another soul out there as we drove along and the “road” became increasingly rough…in fact we were literally driving over the rocks for a good stretch of the way. There were hills and valleys, the sand was way soft and frankly I was getting a bit nervous. “Just keep going” Florence directed, as if she were a tour guide at the Wild Animal Park. I saw some Turkey Vultures soaring in the sky (No kidding…reminded me of home in Deerhorn Valley.) and I assume there were lots of rattlers out there. However, this was just the type of adventure which prompted us to buy the Jeep rather than a Mini Cooper or a Ford Focus. What the hell, I thought as I drove up a hill with the dashboard pointing skyward and no idea of what would be on the other side of the hill! After all, this entire Great American Adventure is to some degree our “bucket list.” Screw it

This bush had bright yellow flowers. Amazing, considering how dry it is out here.

This bush had bright yellow flowers. Amazing, considering how dry it is out here.

NO SURVIVAL KIT: Although I’d thought about it more than once, I’d never put together a “Survival Kit” for the Jeep.  You know: an air horn, first aid kit, loppers to cut the brush and tree limbs we’d no doubt encounter, a whistle and our walking sticks. Shoot! We had been smart enough to load an ice chest with water and soft drinks. I’m glad we did. It was pushing 90 degrees out there and the sun was blazing down on us. As we continued along the path I kept thinking to myself how much more secure I’d have felt if I had assembled that Survival Kit. By now we were several miles from the asphalt and we frankly didn’t have a clue how to get back to the road. We’d been circling, driving up and around hills and trees and certainly wouldn’t be able to “retrace our steps” so to speak. “Where the hell is that portable GPS unit I bought at Cabella’s a few years ago,” I thought to myself. With that puppy you can “set” the spot where you leave the road and then get directions back should you need them. I used it for geocaching. Oh well, guess I’d better look for it!

This back country is very cool.

Can you even imagine driving over all those rocks searching for wild burros?

A KODAK MOMENT: We kept driving. No burros…just poop. No problem, I thought…after all we’d seen ’em on the road a few days ago. If you’ve seen one burro you’ve seen ’em all…right?  Just as I was getting ready to head back to civilization we approached an awesome rock formation that promised a real Kodak moment. The only problem was that the “road” essentially stopped at the formation. Kind of like a cul-de-sac, but no room to turn around. Oh well, we took a bunch of pictures, had a blast doing so and just backed the Jeep out of the spot without turning around. Luckily, Florence and I have developed a pretty good system for her to give me hand signals when we need to get into or out of a small space with the motor-home.  That served us well.

BACK HOME WITH SOME GOOD MEMORIES: We finally found our way back to civilization, each of us claiming to have “known the way back the whole time.” Right! A couple miles down the road, we found a little country saloon where we had a coke and caught our breath. We returned to Emerald Cove with some cool pictures and some memories we’ll not forget of our “Burro Hunt” along the Colorado River. Making memories…that’s really what  our Great American Adventure is all about!

Remember the "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska? Well, this is Arizona's version of that same bridge.

Remember the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska? Well, this is Arizona’s  “Road to Nowhere.” 

I'm guessing a coyote must live here.

I’m guessing a coyote must live here. Or one hell of a big rattlesnake!

The "cul-de-sac."

We may have a little problem here. The “road” seems to dead end just ahead! Reminds me of our drive up the hills in Bisbee, Arizona.  (See post dated 11-28-2013)

Guess who climbed up there? I'll give you a clue: It wasn't me!

“Hi there. I couldn’t find a single burro up here! By the way, do you have any idea how I can get the hell off this rock?”

Here's where we left the pavement today.

Here’s where we left the pavement today. When I saw this sign, I decided our planned outing across Parker Dam to a favorite spot on the River could wait. This is Jeep country!


I didn’t see one darn burro all afternoon!

We found a little Saloon after our Jeep adventure.

The Sundance Outlaw Saloon. Very cool. They also sell gas, but of course they didn’t have any gas in the pumps. The sign said something like: “Gas coming soon.” Good deal unless you’re in the middle of nowhere and need gas now! Whatever!

Window seats inside the Outlaw Saloon.

Another view of the Outlaw Saloon. It’s a real “Red Neck Bar.” I loved it!

UPDATE REGARDING BURRO HUNT: After failing to see even one burro during our entire hunt, we saw plenty when we returned to Emerald Cove. I had wondered what they eat and assumed it was vegetation. I was right. The burrows at our campsite were munching on palm tree fronds…a pretty nasty salad. I had some celery stalks for them and they were very appreciative. This guy was one friendly burro!

Inside the Outlaw Saloon.

Inside the Outlaw Saloon.

These burros are very friendly.

These burros are very friendly.

UPDATE: “HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!”  The wind last night was stronger than I’ve ever seen! There was a National Weather Service Advisory, warning of sustained 50 mph winds and gusts as strong as 62 mph. Folks, that’s a lot of wind!  We retracted our awnings, including the small ones over the windows and stowed all of our other outside gear. For some reason, even though we both thought about it, we didn’t take down the flag pole and remove Old Glory.

I'd never seen the wind blow so hard!

I’d never seen the wind blow so hard!

Each of us later remarked that “the little voice on our shoulder” advised attention to the flag situation but each of us ignored it. I think the reason is that with our new flag set-up and super flexible pole, we figured it could withstand even a very stiff wind. (See my blog section titled “Our Rig” for a description of my flag set-up.) It could, although that didn’t prevent a bit of high drama about 1 o’clock in the morning!

I was in bed and I could hear the flag whipping around at the back of our coach. When I began to hear the actual pole tapping on the metal roof, I figured I’d better go out and take a look. Oh, my gosh: The wind was so strong I thought the RV door would blow right off the chassis! After I got it closed and maneuvered to the back of the coach, I could see the flag and pole bending into an upside down “J” shape. The pole is way flexible but I was afraid if it did break it would become a projectile tumbling around the campground.

It could skewer someone just like meat for a kabob! That would not be good! What I couldn’t figure out was just what to do about the situation, as trying to lift the pole from its sleeve and lower it to the ground just wouldn’t have been possible. Before I knew it, and even at that hour of the night (morning now), a couple parked across the road came to our assistance and helped us get the flag down just as if it were their own. I thanked them profusely and they just kept reminding me that “we’re all in this together.” How nice. What a day.

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