We left Picacho with our friends Daphne and Charlie and headed to Gila Bend, Arizona, where we fuelled up and ensured our propane was full as well. Then we headed down to Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Centre in Ajo to get permits to go to the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range to boondock. The process involves watching a video that explains all the hazards of the range and filling out a questionnaire that affirms that you understand it could be dangerous and they are not responsible for your safety. The ranger told us of some cool places to camp and hike.
On our way to the first camp about a mile inside the gate 9 entrance, we made the mandatory call to let officials know we were camping in the range and find out if there were any closed areas – we were fine to go in.
After dinner we discussed how in our next camp we can park in positions so both campers would have unobstructed views.
We went on a hike.
With a little critter hanging about, wondering about our commotion – he came out to check us out.
We found a large bullet, and like the instructions say, we left it undisturbed.
We also found this chard of what looked like pottery…and again…do not disturb.
The view as the sun goes down and the temperature drop are interesting.
That night, the Air Force conducted exercises overhead and we were treated to flares and dogfights and planes circling the area. Great fun and they were far enough out that we weren’t in any danger.
After the second night, we left and headed for gate 15 and a 7 mile drive to Hat Mountain.
One of the very rough roads we travelled.
This road was much rougher than the last one and I averaged about 5 miles an hour to get to our secluded campsite with fabulous views.
Our selfie at the beginning of a nature hike.
At the beginning, I thought this was a piece of plastic that usually goes around wires. Then…
Find the little snake…lucky it wasn’t a rattler as we almost stepped on it.
The headless cactus…
Our days were filled with a morning hike, lunch, an afternoon hike, if possible a nap then dinner. By then it was bedtime.
We spent Christmas there with a morning campfire celebration on Christmas day.
There was a small cave beyond these two cacti and it made it look like a gated community.
Then we tried out the awning and found there were some awning issues and the manual came out.
I fixed it and then we went on more hikes.
Seven days went by so quickly.
We found this nose cone…looked like people shot it.
Yet another beautiful sunset…magnificent.
When we had signal we kept checking the weather and found that there was a warm window of opportunity to head north to Canada and Tofino. We decided to leave and head up – through Quartzite next…