Finally it was time to start heading north to colder climes.
The first stop was only 75 miles north in Parker Arizona, or actually in Earp, California just across the river.
I bought a new patio mat in Parker at a very useful RV store, BIff seemed to enjoy his new “grass”.
The next day was also a short one, about 85 miles to a piece of BLM desert just north of Lake Havasu City
There were about 20 units there but well spread out
Once again Biff surveyed the landscape from his new grass
We had a nice sunset and obtained a shadowgraph of The Caravan
Having decided to stay out an extra day I moved to Lake Havasu State Park, $25 for the night in the overflow lot – shocking! My first paid night of the trip but I needed to use the RV dump so that I could re-winterize The Caravan for the trip home, and I suppose I probably needed a shower too.
Parked on the hard top!
I took Biff to the very nice Lake Havasu City dog park (Lion’s Park), we drove across London Bridge to get there.
He wandered around and sniffed at a few other dogs but he doesn’t seem to really know how to play at a dog park, he doesn’t visit them often of course, in the end he laid down next to me and watched the people pass by.
On Saturday we got down to the business of getting home and drove to Sand Mine Road where we spent the first night of the trip.
This time it was still light so I was able to drive down the road a ways and find a good spot. This is going to be a very good location for starting and ending southern trips, it’s about 285 miles from Torrey, mostly freeway.
We camped on a level plateau right next to this ravine, good views almost all around
Off to the east are the Virgin Mountains and in the dip in the middle of the picture are some very red rocks that I think are Little Finland in Gold Butte National Monument.
We got an early start on Sunday, before sunrise, and stopped in Mesquite to make breakfast, surrounded by mysterious whooshing noises…
Heading further north we found another mystery, the mountains were covered in some sort of white material.
We picked up Frikka who had been staying with Janet in Cedar City and headed for Wayne County
So, not having found the bridge I needed to make one more attempt, we took a rest day to recover from walking on all those rocks then set off in search of the mystery bridge. We drove the little road stopping at the place calculated to be closest to the canyon with the bridge, at that point I realised the bridge wasn’t marked on the map I had, but I thought I remembered it well enough.
We wandered across some flat land, avoided cholla gardens and crossed a couple of small hills before coming to the main canyon entrance.
This canyon looked narrower and more overgrown than the last two, and had a troll guarding it just upstream.
Once again we were presented with a series of tanks.
Eventually we reached a side canyon off the main canyon where the bridge was supposed to be, just a little up on the left.
Right at the entrance was a tank with a pouroff that required some climbing around, I assume this is Arch Tank.
The side canyon also had many tanks,
and some impressive vegetation. We walked and scrambled all the way up the side canyon but there was no sign of a bridge, there did appear to be a shelf on the left side of the canyon so perhaps it was hidden behind that, we bravely climbed the steep loose side of the canyon.
and found an arch or bridge, but it’s only 6″ tall. If this is Tank Bridge some cartographer needs to die a slow painful death.
We wandered about all over the ridge above the side canyon but there didn’t appear to be another way down than the way we came up, Biff doesn’t like backtracking and wanted to climb the canyon walls.
Just a trickle of water feeds the tanks in the main canyon.
So back to camp without finding the bridge, studying the original map it seems maybe the bridge was closer to the entrance of the side canyon above the tank with the pouroff but that area had steep tall walls, another expedition will need to be mounted in the future..
This night was our last on King Road, time to start heading north. It was a nice spot but with limited and somewhat uncomfortable hiking options with all the rocks and cholla.
The maps I’m looking at have a bridge marked up a canyon near where I have been the last two days, near the base of the canyon there is also a notation of some Horse Tanks. I though these would be man made tanks like those for cattle, but not at all! I drove right to the end of the little road I started on yesterday and discovered that there were two information signs about the canyon, truly in the middle of nowhere.
Just a few yards down the path Biff found the first water.
Naturally he had to take a dip.
The water just trickles down over the rocks.
The wildlife people have built some dams to increase the amount of water available, primarily for desert bighorn sheep. I didn’t see any large wildlife the entire time I was in the area.
Some of the tanks were quite large, this one was at least 6 feet deep.
Looking back down the canyon from above the first set of tanks.
The canyon got narrower and a bit steeper, by now it was obvious I wasn’t in the right canyon for the bridge.
In places it was almost tropical.
At the top, looking over to the King Valley beyond the humps.
Biff seemed bemused by the amount of water.
This scene reminded of home in Wayne County with all the rocks laying about.
There has obviously been a lot of rain recently, the desert is lush.
I am camped on King Road which continues up the hill from my site and through a gap in the mountains to the east, I had to see where it went.
As I drove through the gap I happened to look over at exactly the right moment to see a tiny arch high on the ridge
I drove about 10 miles east of the tiny arch on King Road but it crosses a large expanse of flat and fairly featureless desert so I turned back. This area is marked on the map as part of the Yuma Testing Grounds used for live fire but I don’t think they use it any more as all the signs were covered up. On the western side of US95 there are signs on every road telling you to get a range pass before entering.
When I was exploring the area for camp site possibilities I noticed a small road heading south just before the gap so I decided that would be a good place for a walk with Biff today. We walked down the road then took a detour to avoid a camper and there it was, another arch!
This one looked like it might be accessible.
Climbing up to the arch I came across this cactus growing out of the vertical face of rock.
Since it’s not marked on the map I’ll call it Biff Arch
Rare selfie, getting a bit shaggy after a couple of weeks on the road.
Looking back the way we came.
Last view of the arch, the angle of the canyon on the other side made it invisible from that direction.
The way down from the arch, it was a bit of scramble in places.
Lots of desert flowers in bloom.
An Ocotillo sprouting leaves, they pop out of the stems after a rain and fall off as the area dries out.
Looking back at the exit canyon, the arch is in the shadow in the middle of the picture.