Before leaving Tucson we heard from Red Fox and Hawk that they had high-balled it across the country in record time and were checking in a day early to Lost Dutchman State Park to coincide with our arrival on November 8, 2016. Lost Dutchman is located at the base of the Superstition Mountains and is the home of many myths the most famous of which is the story of Jacob Waltz and his gold mine. We checked in early in the day and Hawk and Red Fox arrived later in the early evening. This sooner than expected rendezvous would give DD and Red Fox an extra day to discuss a whole host of ISSUES encountered (some real but mostly imagined) over the past 6 months or so. The most prominent shared ISSUE seemed to revolve around the inability of their respective chauffeurs to strictly adhere to the navigational directions provided regardless of how erroneous or misguided they might be. Fortunately Hawk and the Captain have learned over the years to politely ignore these inconsequential admonishments.
Despite the incessant girl chatter we were able to get in a couple of hikes during our 4 days here. As a warm-up we undertook a relaxing 3.5 mile hike across the base of the mountain as preparation for the more strenuous Basin/Flatiron hike which we would take on the next day. On the day of this hike the temperature was expected to be in the very high 80Fs so we got a reasonably early start of 8:00 am. Good thing as the 2 mile, 2 hour hike to the Basin had a vertical rise of 1100 feet. Still feeling a little bit frisky at this point we climbed past the Basin toward the Flatiron for another 400 vertical feet at which point reason overtook pride and we called it quits. After 5 hours we arrived back at base camp hot and tired but more than satisfied with the trek. The last mile under a glaring sun had started to take its toll, although it didn’t seem to faze some of the kids continuously passing us by. In fact several groups of youngsters who went all the way to the Flatiron passed us on the way up and on the way down.
On November 11th Red Fox, DD and the Captain went on a 2 mile group Moonlight Walk across the base of the mountain. The 70 plus participants enjoyed learning a bit about the park and environment under an almost full (super) moon. Later in the day we headed into Yuma for pizza at the world famous Organ Stop Pizza. The pizza is pretty good but the entertainment is great.
When not out hiking the US squad challenged the Canucks to a Domino showdown. The Canucks obliterated the Yanks in the first game by a score of 18 to 500+. First team over 500 loses. In a desperate effort to reverse their misfortune and misery the Yanks invoked the use of the home side set of dominoes rule. Despite this misguided and fruitless strategy and a much closer score of 475 to 500+, the Canucks walked away with a 2 to nil victory.
While Hawk and Red Fox planned to stay at the Lost Dutchman until the 13th DD and the Captain had to vacate the premises on the 12th as no open sites were available. Hawk and Red Fox would be making their way west to California for the winter while CC and Debbie Dewdrops would be setting up camp again at Imperial Dam. It’s always a treat for us to spend time with Red Fox and Hawk and we will miss their company this winter.
Back to the Desert
So here we are back at the Imperial Dam LTVA for our 4th winter. Arriving here on November 12th the place looks pretty deserted. Could be the extreme heat (high 80Fs) or the election results or just whatever but I’m sure things will change over the next month or so. Regardless many of our good friends have arrived including the Cling-ons LLL and BBB, nos Quebec amis RRR and AA, Andre and Danielle, some of the Missourians Jim and Virginia and of course our hiking buddy Steverino and general all round nice guy and perhaps next year’s mayor Buster. Sad to say there a quite a few of the old timers who won’t make it back this year due to health and other reasons. The most noteworthy absentee is the infamous Slobberjaws who almost singlehandedly looked after the dog burns, weekly jeep drives, Christmas parade of lights, CB roll call, the Liberry (library) and search and rescue. Jaws will be sorely missed by the desert denizens.
We have spent a few days setting up camp. Putting up the solar panels and sun shade, levelling and stabilizing the Eagle5, rebuilding the picnic table, assembling whatever needs assembling, cleaning windows and on and on. Now not to complain, but I just can’t help myself, it has been around 90F since we arrived and without AC there ain’t much escape from the heat so for the next few days we’ll probably lay low and pray for snow. NOT. Funny thing though that when we arrived DD developed a sore back but now that all the setting up work is done the back seems to have improved and as I write this DD is off at her Uke lesson. Very strange don’t ya think.
Steverino led the first group hike of the season with a revisit to the old gold mines. A short but never-the –less enjoyable trek for the inaugural hike of the season. And wonderfully the temperature cooperated by dropping into the low 70Fs and a strong wind kept things reasonably cool.