This winter I headed west to AZ with a dear friend. We took a new-to-us route across a large part of LA and TX avoiding the major cities. What a good decision that was! My thanks to Jerry and Wanda for the new route!
Our first night in AZ was spent at a wonderful small campground near Portal that friends had stayed at and recommended. We were very glad we stopped for the night. It was quiet except for the sound of the creek that ran along side the campground. I went out at night hoping for a clear dark sky and was well rewarded. I took a few images looking to the north (in this one you can clearly see the Andromeda Galaxy to the left of the Milky Way) and then some to the south. As I was standing on the bridge over the creek marveling at the night sky I noticed that the motion sensor light on the side of my trailer came on….. since there were lots of signs about bear activity I took the camera off the tripod, turned on my flashlight and started making lots of noise as I headed back to the trailer. I was happy with the images I had taken and was content to call it a night. Never did see what made the light go on and I was just as happy not to, it could have been a skunk or a bear!
After a few days visiting friends at Quartzite I went to visit another friend in Buckeye. One of the day trips we sometimes take is to the Desert Botanical Gardens. They often have special displays around Christmas and this year was no different. It featured a variety of very large plastic animals that were lit up at night. There were small info boards next to the displays with very brief info trying to tie the critters to nature or the desert in some way. The signs also said the critters were made of recyclable plastic. Personally I would have been more impressed it the critters were made of recycled plastic. Plastic critters aside it is always an interesting place to explore, I always find something new to enjoy there.
After going back to Quartzite for a week a few of us ventured west to Blythe, CA for a couple of nights at a county campground next to the Colorado River. Can safely say been there done that now. Blythe isn’t far from Q and has a couple of good grocery stores. The country around it is largely farming with hay the major crop. We did see a few Sandhill Cranes in the fields.