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Everything posted by dzJeepChic

  1. Going past Kofa Butte: A while after we passed Kofa Butte, our GPS showed we were passing a trail which I thought should be the one we wanted, but which was not marked (unlike all the other trails had been), and was really just a wash. We went past it a ways until I made us stop and look at the map together, because we were starting down toward the southeast, which looked like the wrong trail. George told us to hang out for a minute and he’d drive forward just to see if the road kept going southeast or if it turned. So Phil and I watched and after a while we saw his plume of dust turn toward the northeast; the right direction, so we radioed him and told him we were on the way in Phil’s Jeep. We took off after him and sure enough the trail did turn in the right direction and we were headed for Courthouse Mountain. When we finally caught up to him, we found George hugging the trail marker, but I missed the shot because my camera was in my Jeep! Here we are feeling very oriented: From there we took Engineer Pass east, and then turned north up toward the Kofa Maganese Road. Engineer Pass is essentially a wash you drive through, nothing difficult, nothing spectacular, a little tight in spots so expect some pin-striping. The Kofa Maganese Road is long and generally runs north by northeast past the east side of the Kofa Range. It traverses many washes and plateaus with some very scenic views of the mountains off in the distance. Coming through Red Rock Pass was scenic because of the various colors of rock, and it was the only place where the road gets a little rough and washed out: At the end of Kofa Maganese Road we took a right on the Pipeline Road, went east a few miles and then made a left on what turned out to be the Vicksburg Road and drove a couple miles up to I-10 where we found a Valero Station and Convenience store. How Convenient! We used their $0.75 Air, bought some gas and got out of there quick. It was an incredible weekend and we were able to put a lot of miles under our Jeeps. The weather was absolutely ideal; although a little hot down in the canyons, but perfect for camping! Our Expedition Companion Phil was a lot of fun to hang out with, and we joked about how hard he was to get along with because he was willing to go anywhere we suggested! Thanks Phil for the good company, conversation and Recon Support! We’ll be planning a Kofa Expedition for the near future for those of you who want to experience the area first hand. Until then, we’ll see you on the trails! GnD
  2. We drove back into Kofa Queen Canyon as far as we could, and after a while we thought we might even be able to go through to the other side, but then we found that it’s blocked off. After the Kofa Queen we decided to head down Hwy. 95 for King Valley Road or Castle Dome Road, whichever one was closest after we bought some ice and water (note to self - It’s really freeking hot in the Kofa’s). Services ended up being all the way down at Fortuna, so we went in on the Castle Dome Road. That turned out to be an awesome area as well, and it was a pleasant drive Saturday after noon up to McPherson Pass where we camped. The Kofa trail system is very well marked; especially as you pass or drive through areas of Private Property. There are these signs which tell you where the designated trail is: Further into the trail system we found a lot of markers keeping motorized vehicles out of the washes, which is a great way to keep the area on the pristine side. The Kofa sets a great example of how a trail system can be put in place for the enjoyment of everyone and yet maintain its beauty. Saturday night camp site in McPherson Pass (Picture taken Sunday morning). We found a place right next to the road along side of a wash. See the Little White Blimp? It’s a Border Patrol Eye-in-the-Sky tethered out in the desert. I hope there are no aerial views of me squatting in the bushes going around on the internet now! But anyways, that’s why it was nice to be next to a wash; good cover! Sunday morning we kept going north out of McPherson Pass and up the road to King Valley Road. Castle Dome & McPherson Pass behind us: From that junction we generally spent the day zig-zagging our way past the Kofa Range on the east side, until we got to I-10 & the Vicksburg Road. First we went up past the King of Arizona Mine and the North Star Mine where we found quite a few people live and work. Continued V V V
  3. Saturday morning we were treated to seeing big horn sheep up on the steep rocky sides of the mountain. We took turns with Phil’s binoculars and it was amazing to watch the sheep traverse the sides of cliffs! After the early show, George & I walked up the trail into the canyon toward Signal Peak so we could see Palm Canyon. This is one of only 2 or 3 places in Arizona where palm trees grow naturally. All other palm trees in Arizona were transplanted. The trail is a nice path slightly uphill into a shady canyon; it was nice and cool while we walked. Palm Canyon is high up in the rocks on the other side of the main canyon. Beautiful view on the way back to camp: From Palm Canyon we packed up our stuff and headed just down the road to the turn off for Kofa Queen Canyon. This turned out to be an awesome trail up a wash along side of Signal Peak where the views are awe inspiring and abundant. On the way up the road toward the base of the mountain: I thought I saw a bear kissing a rock: Will try to include camping at the Skull on our next Expedition to the Kofa: We came upon this formation which we called Gorilla Rock, but which Phil said he had read about and knows it’s named something else. It looked like a gorilla to us: Although from this angle it also resembled Homer Simpson! George took our picture from behind Gorilla Rock: Continued V V V
  4. We hiked up into the far right canyon a very short way and found Dripping Springs. It was at least 15 degrees cooler in there; lots of trees made it shady. The Spring goes in back under the rock and the water looked dark and mossy. There were a lot of bees hanging out, so we didn’t dip our toes. After you leave Dripping Springs you can either go back out the way you came in, or the Wells book offers an alternate route out to Hwy. 95 just south of Quartsite. We opted for the alternate, which has you take a hard left after you get into the narrow wash, and follow it out til you get to a road that leads to the northwest and ends up in a campground off 95. There are a couple little rock obstacles which Wells rates as difficult but we felt they were over rated when we saw them. After stopping in Quartsite for gas and a few last minute items we went south on Hwy. 95 about 20 miles to Palm Canyon. First we stopped at the kiosk on the way in and grabbed brochures; which we didn’t really look at until the next morning. But we were glad we had picked them up because they have maps that show the numbering system of the park. Driving in there at sunset was like a cherry on top of an already really awesome day. This is where we were planning to camp, so all the way up the road we were awestruck by it’s beauty knowing we were going to hang out here for the night. Take a look for yourself: This is the view out toward Kofa Queen Canyon where we went the next day: By now it was dark but I discovered I have a night setting on my camera, and even though I didn’t have a tripod I think these came out okay. This is our camp Friday night at the base of Palm Canyon:   Continued V V V
  5. We just got back from our Kofa NWP Recon. Mission. We discovered the Kofa to be an excellent place to explore. There are quite a few trails and all of them go past something cool. We covered about 130 miles of dirt over the weekend and just scratched the surface. The trail system is well maintained with markers and road designation signs when you’re in private property. We definitely recommend the Kofa as an expedition area; more on that later. This trip report shows some of the pictures we took, but you may view the entire slide show at: http://good-times.webshots.com/slideshow/568179995BKMpeg We met Friday noon @ I-10 & Exit 26 (west of Blythe, CA.), where we aired down and headed out for Dripping Springs. Even though we followed Wells description, we veered off the wrong way when we first started out. George figured out that we hadn’t stayed all the way to the left of the wash because of the way the road had been graded so we re-ran it that way and finally got on the right coordinates. When we saw the remnants of a mine and stone cabin off to our right at the exact milage Wells said we would, we knew we had it right. First stop:   From there we got back on the trail to Dripping Springs. The trail winds along through a bunch of old mining claims, with open pits and tailings evident at almost every turn. It’s a pretty good road that winds in and out of washes, up and down hills through a scenic desert. Finally you drop down into a fairly deep narrow wash and follow it short distance before taking a hard left up and out onto a beautiful plateau surrounded by rocky cliffs. Along one side of the valley is a wash that is literally strewn with huge rocks with petroglyphs; some ancient looking while others appeared rather new . . . This beautiful rock had been vandalized and a piece broken off! What the? Continued V V V
  6. This Mushroom walks into a bar. The Bartender asks, "What's the matter, bud?" The Mushroom says, "Why don't I have any friends, I'm a fungi?" d
  7. The new tent we bought liked to smothered us. I'm going to write a product review about it. the thing is so airtight, and has no screening. I woke up the first night because I couldn't breathe, thought it was claustrophobia, but it was because we had used up all the oxygen in the tent. We had to sleep with the zipper open. Even then, the inside of the tent was completely wet every morning from our breathing. d pretty and handy but deadly.
  8. That's my favorite trail too! d
  9. The Rubicon Trail offers some of the best camping spots I've ever experienced.
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