Westward Ho!

Well, we have been in Arizona for almost three weeks.  We have been exploring the area right around Buckeye and getting to know our way around town.  We have also taken some short “day” trips.  We have some friends from Dexter (Dennis and Mary Ann Reel) out here with us.  They are staying in the same RV park as us and are just two sites down from us.

(NOTE:  I’ve been having a little trouble uploading the pictures from my good camera to my laptop.  As a result, I won’t be  posting more of the sunset pictures from Picacho peak.  That is unless I can figure out what the problem is!)

About a week ago the Reels and us drove to Wickenburg, AZ, which is about 60 miles from Buckeye.  Wickenburg was founded in 1863 as the result of a gold strike on the Colorado River near present day Yuma.  The town is named after a German prospector, Henry Wickenburg.  His prospecting efforts were rewarded with the discovery of the Vulture Mine.  Eventually over thirty million dollars worth of gold was dug up from this mine.

Wickenburg’s early businesses built many structures that still form the town’s main historic district which is lined with unique and interesting shops.  We explored the shops, looked around the old train depot that is now the Chamber of Commerce, and marveled at a 200 year old mesquite tree that once served as the town jail (from 1863-1890 outlaws were chained to this tree!).  The town and area has a very interesting history which you can “google” if you want.  We had a great day and so did our pets – this was Zoey’s and Charlie’s first “road trip,” and they got along great.  Charlie is Dennis and Mary Ann’s dog.  I did take a FEW pictures but not as many as I should have.

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Our Zoey on the left and her new friend Charlie on the right.

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That is one HUGE cactus!

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The town was full of interesting bronze sculptures depicting various aspects of the old west and the town’s history.  Each statue had information on it about who it was and what their part was in the history of the town or area.

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Beautiful countryside as we traveled.

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It really was a gorgeous day.

A couple of days later we all decided to take another day trip.  This one was to Quartzsite, AZ,  which is a popular recreational vehicle camping area for winter visitors.  There were ATVs everywhere the day we were there!  RVs, fifth wheels, and trailers just pull off the road any where in the flat desert and set up camp.  It’s called boondocking or “dry camping” because there are no hookups, and you’re staying in a completely undeveloped area.  Ummmm…..I WON’T be doing that any time soon!

Tourism is a major contributor to Quartzsite’s economy.  Quartzsite has about nine gem and mineral shows and fifteen general swap meets which attracts approximately 1.5 million people each year.  We went there because they were having a big RV show, huge flee market, and a rock and gem show.  It was all outdoors or under tents.  We walked through some gorgeous RVs (VERY expensive!) and beautiful fifth wheel trailers.  There was so much to see; it seemed like we walked for miles – all on dusty gravel.  It was a warm, sunny day but it was windy, so we didn’t get too hot.  Needless to say, the dogs were filthy by the time we left (we take the dogs with us everywhere!), and we all felt as if we had swallowed at least a half of cup of dust.

Quartzsite is located just 22 miles from the California border.  Jack and I have never been to California, so we drove the 22 miles to the little town of Blythe, CA, just so we could say we’ve been to California.  I didn’t remember to take any pictures in Quartzsite, but I did get a couple of pictures of the California state line and “welcome” signs (the pics are kind of blurry) along with the California Agriculture Station.  Every vehicle on Interstate 10 had to stop at this station and be checked through (kind of like a border patrol check point).  That was interesting.

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California state line.

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Welcome to California!

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All vehicles on the highway had to come to a complete stop and be motioned through this check point.

Both of these trips were quite enjoyable, and we were all exhausted by the end of the day (including the dogs!).

So for now …… “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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