Monthly Archives: January 2010

Catalina State Park, Tucson, AZ

Howdee all,

Here we are in one of my favorite Campgrounds…

Catalina State Park…shhhh don’t tell anyone about it…

Water and Electric sewer hookups ..14 day max stay when the park is busy..which it is now.

But look how large the sites are.. catalina _029

No wall to wall neighborscatalina _032breathing room to watch the birds..

Lesser goldfinchcatalina birds and_019

Gila woodpecker catalina birds and_015catalina birds and_009 to look at the mountains… and clouds..catalina _041

as they turn colors …

Evening pinks…catalina _061 catalina _063Ahh… catalina _065 more from around Catalina and Tucson…

Stay tuned….


BwBTC outing Patagonia Arizona

 Howdee all,

Another Birders who Blog Tweet and Chirp Bird outing…


The date is Saturday, March 13th.

For those who want to bird longer we will also go out again on the 14th.

This is free and open to bring lunch, pay for your own dinner, lodging etc.

The area is one of my favorites..


check out the link here.

This should be a blast…wont be peak birding time here..but..there will be birds.and in the past a resident Elegant Trogan.

Haven’t set a start time for Saturday yet..but earlier the better.

I thought those of us who wanted to gather early and have breakfast at

The Gathering grounds could arrive any time after seven ..Great coffee ..breakfasts and they can pack a lunch for you.

Then we could go birding..

Read this link….Birding the area SABOs Guide

I am open to suggestions but thought we would start at at

Patagonia State Park

and the “rest area” probably to early for the Rose-throated Becard..but who knows..

Then to Patons if still open..I just sadly read that Marion passed away last year.

more birding?

Dinner at the Velvet Elvis for those who want…

Tom and Sheri will be bringing their 12 person Van…if there are 12 or fewer.

If not we carpool.

Sunday we can continue on..discuss where we would like to bird…lots of great places nearby.


 The Cast of Characters so far….

Sheri Williamson and Tom Wood     Sheri’s Homepage which lists the books Sheri has authored and co-authored along with Tom and Sheri’s blogs.

Also check out The Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) website..Awesome Resource and a must place to visit.

We have birded with Sheri and Tom before and their enthusiasm is contagious.


 Donna Simonetti  Birder and Facebook user check out her facebook bird photos

Cynthia White Birder and  Preskitgurl on twitter

Linda Rockwell  Birder LRockwellatty on twitter and Lindas facebook page

Kathie Brown  Facebook page and Kathies blog Sycamore Canyon

Jacqueline Burton Facebook Page

Dawn and Jeff thats us! DawnFine on Twitter DawnSimmonsFine on facebook


If anyone would like to join us….give me a holler…will add you to our list. If Spouses or friends are joining..let me know so I can add them as well.


Here are some links…


Patagonia RV Park..Jeff and I are staying here..sorta in town location..

Patagonia State Park

Patagonia Casitas..looks lovely here

More info on Patagonia and lodging here

Picacho Peak rainbow

Howdee all,

Took these photos last week…We were staying at Picacho Peak RV resort to weather out the storm that came thru the area…

Had a wonderful Double rainbow…but i couldn’t get far enough away from it to capture the whole thing… RAINBOW PICACHO_008 but it was a beautyRAINBOW PICACHO_005I don’t know if its because we spend so much outdoors..

or because we are lucky..but we have been seeing several double rainbows a year lately..

Of course, I will never tire of seeing them….

Rain brings such wonderful things…RAINBOW PICACHO_002 We only stayed in the area a few days…needed to get to Tucson for a birthday party…

So Picacho peak will wait for us…want to do some hiking there…… picacho_002 We are now in one of our Favorite Campgrounds..

stay tuned….

Desert Bar, Parker, AZ

Howdee all,

We spent a few days Boondocking in the Desert of Quartzite on BLM land.

Our first time camping and staying in the big temporary city in the desert.

RVs camped all over the desert…Flea Markets…RV show..Gem Show..

We took a trip to the Desert Bar …with a group of Rvers…

The bar was an hour drive from Quartzite…outside the town of Parker in the middle of what seemed like no where….

Below is the five mile dirt road we took to get to the Bar…


The “Nellie E Saloon” (DESERT BAR)
is situated in the Buckskin Mountains,
in Parker, Arizona, on land that was
an old mining camp


“When Ken acquired the land in 1975, there was nothing left of the old mining camp. With the land and a liquor license from an old business on leased river land, Ken decided to give the “bar in the desert” idea a try. In 1983, Ken opened for business in the temporary three-sided structure which is across from the outdoor restroom’s. He
operated there for the next five years, until the current saloon was constructed. The name “Nellie E” originates from the old mining claim. They used to mine copper and then take it to the smelter and get gold.”


Lots of four wheel drive vehicles in the parking lotDESERT BAR_004Along with ATVS   DESERT BAR_005

Below is a Church….a facade 

The church is made of solid steel and the walls and ceiling are made of the same stamped tin used inside the bar and the roof is made of copper. The names inscribed on the plaques in the church are people who donated money to help build the church. The church is a unique place for weddings and a great photo spot. There are no services held in the church and all religions are welcome.DESERT BAR_001

DESERT BAR_009A video of the Desert Bar…Listen to the Band


The very limited menu…but then…most people don’t come just for the food…and the beer..which is just Domestic beer…

They come for the ambiance…

DESERT BAR_038 Like Bathrooms overlooking mountains…DESERT BAR_033 And the bar in such a rustic setting…

DESERT BAR_049The owners home… tours…DESERT BAR_048DESERT BAR_075


We left Quartzite a week ago…a short stay because of the weather that was expected ..high winds and heavy rains.

it was a good decision to leave early….We ended up staying a few nights at Picacho Peak …and luckily the winds weren’t so bad there…

A friend at Quartzite said his motorhome was rocking in the winds all night…and the washes..filled with rock and water and had to be cleared before RVs could leave the boondocking area..

We are now in Tucson …and will be here thru the end of February…

If you are in the area..give me a shout!

Mohave National Preserve….singing sands

Howdee all,

We were told the sands sang…so we went out to find out for ourselves..

The tall dune looked close…MOHAVE_018

but it wasn’t as close as it looked..MOHAVE_026

On the way to the tall dune…I saw these plants…all folded into itself..

any ideas??

MOHAVE_028  Lots of tiny tracks..

MOHAVE_020 MOHAVE_019  So our dune..getting closerMOHAVE_023Up and down up and down..seems like it is getting farther away..MOHAVE_017Andrew makes it up first…as usual…  MOHAVE_015  And Jeff follows…MOHAVE_013Testing the sand for sounds…MOHAVE_014  enjoying the fine sand!MOHAVE_011  Hello from Dawn Jeff and AndrewMOHAVE_009  Andrew showing us his technique for making the sand sing….MOHAVE_007     A short video of the singing sand

Mohave National Preserve

Howdee all,

We traveled thru Mohave National Preserve on our way to Quartzite…we had intended to do a hike and drive in Death Valley that same day..but the weather turned cold and we opted to drive to the Preserve in hopes of warm again.

We drove most of the day and arrived at the Kelso Depot Visitor Center shortly before sundown…

MOHAVE_079 We pop in..and catch a video and get information on where to camp overnight.MOHAVE_074  We caught some nice light…

Which lit up the train and it looked like it was made of gold..

MOHAVE_076 The train station looking east…


And north of the station…sunlit grasses

MOHAVE_073  and the sky starts to get some color…

MOHAVE_072  Depot and mountains lighting up…MOHAVE_071    As we drove to the campsite…

An amazing sunset…….

So…woulda shoulda coulda…

If i woulda listened to Jeff..I shoulda driven in the car with Andrew..then I coulda stopped off the road and taken some awesome shots of this amazing cloud formation and sunset.

MOHAVE_055  Jeff couldn’t pull of the road in the Homey…no shoulder…

so blurred foregrounds…

MOHAVE_045 So now we turn onto the road to the camping area..and Jeff was able to pull over for me to take some photos..

but…I shoulda walked forward more to avoid the telephone wires..

And well..what was bright pink..faded to pale pink..

still beautiful.. MOHAVE_041softer pink now…   MOHAVE_038MOHAVE_036 We drive on to the campsite..

and the pink is gone.. MOHAVE_034    And Ballie comes out of Homey to find some grass…

Ballie doesn’t like the desert..

he is looking forward to some Green grass to chew…

MOHAVE_029 That night, Jeff, Andrew and I pull up chairs and blankets and stare at the stars…

we saw a few shooters.

Another wonderful day in the Desert!

Wildrose mountain hike, Death Valley ☃ Snow…

Howdee all,

We decided to check out a different terrain…and took a drive to hike up Wildrose.

I wanted to hike Telescope Peak but it was not suggested this time of year due to ice and snow.

Wildrose Peak
4.2 miles
Moderately strenuous with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet
Begin hike on trail at north end of Charcoal Kilns parking area. Mileage from the kilns to the top of Wildrose Peak is 4.2 miles. Good alternative when Telescope Peak trail is snow covered. Spectacular views.

We travel over an hour to get to the trailhead..

The road looking west…..see the snow capped mountains in the distance…

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_003

The Wildrose Charcoal Kilns
“In 1877 George Hearst’s Modock Consolidated Mining Company completed construction of the charcoal kilns in Wildrose Canyon. The charcoal produced by the kilns was to be used as fuel for two silver-lead smelters that Hearst had built in the Argus Range 25 miles to the west. The kilns operated until the summer of 1878 when the Argus mines, due to deteriorating ore quality, closed and the furnaces shut down.
The Wildrose kilns employed about 40 woodcutters and associated workmen, and the town of Wildrose, a temporary camp located somewhere nearby, was home to about 100 people. Remi Nadeau’s Cerro Gordo Freighting Company hauled the charcoal to the smelters by pack train and wagon.
Each of the 10 kilns stands about 25 feet tall and has a circumference of approximately 30 feet. Each kiln held 42 cords of pinyon pine logs and would, after burning for a week, produce 2,000 bushels of charcoal.
Considered to be the best surviving examples of such kilns to be found in the western states, the kilns owe their longevity to fine workmanship and to the fact that they were in use for such a short time.

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_005

We went into the kilns and stomped on the floor…it sounded like we were.. beating a drum..wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_006 We start the hike..this is the view looking west to the snow capped mountains..

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_013

A closer lookwildrose hike and charcoal kilns_017 Snow on the trail…we need to watch our step..a bit icy as well

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_018

  A different terrain then what we had been experiencing in Death Valley…

Juniper and Pinion pine..wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_025 Distant views of Death Valley…wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_029

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_030

Cactus in the snow..wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_034

Shadow shot on rock….wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_042

Some great views as we hike the trailwildrose hike and charcoal kilns_044

This is Telescope Peak…covered with snow…we were told not to hike it this time of year…

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_046

Death valley views in the distance…warm in the Valley and chilly up here..wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_047

Another view of the Valley…salty white..

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_056 I enjoyed natures wood sculptures… wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_069

Getting closer to the summit…more open views of the valley and distant mountains in Nevada.

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_060

Yippeee…I made it..

view looking west….wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_063 Andrew said he was waiting at least a half hour for us…

Guess I am a bit slow…

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_066

Great views of the Valley wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_067And then it was time to leave the mountain top….wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_068   Cactus amongst the cones…

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_083

Cone amongst the snowwildrose hike and charcoal kilns_084I don’t know what this shrub is..but I loved the flower or whatever this is… wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_093 I found a wood animal….Andrew said it was a frog…

wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_097

Andrew on ice….wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_098

Another way to play…slide down the ice….wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_099And back again…as the sun leaves the Kilns….wildrose hike and charcoal kilns_103I really enjoyed seeing this different terrain after being in the Desert… 

We are now in Arizona…working our way to Tucson..

A few more posts of this trip to come…

Eureka Dunes sunset, Death Valley

Howdee all,

This is the continuation of the gorgeous sunset we saw….

As the sun sets the colors begin to appear…P1050851

Some pinks …


Blues against blues..P1050856And then…wow…


The most amazing streaks of pink to the east…P1050861 And to the west..a combination of orange and pink..and gold..P1050862So..we waited and watched…the pink P1050863 in the east….until it faded…P1050864 And then the orange to the west….P1050865 P1050866   As it turns into a thin strip…..and we say goodbye…P1050871

Eureka Dunes, Death Valley ☀

Howdee all,

After Mosaic Canyon…we hiked the Eureka dunes to catch the changing light..

and the sunset.P1050746

We went to hike to the top of the largest Dune…

P1050742 Mountains to the east…in the hazy sun

P1050745 The largest dune in the distance… P1050750I am tall and thin..and think I am an Avatar… dawns shadow

  See the dot on the photo above… lower left…oops…camera was dirty..

must remember to clean lens more often….you don’t notice it in the photo below..


Shadows and texturesP1050762Sculpted by wind..

see the little Jeff dot? He’s getting closer to the tallest dune…


Some nice clouds in the sky… P1050770

P1050774I am having a great time capturing shadows… P1050771

And cloudsP1050781  As the sun starts to set..P1050783  I found some sand without footprints…black outlines…P1050785

  Not many venture out this far…so less prints…P1050790 The setting sun lights up the distant mountains…

P1050809 The sunlight creeps higher

P1050814  and higher lighting up more of the mountainsP1050816  until they are all glowing…  P1050821

and the tops are now glowing..P1050825Clouds in the south west starting to pick up some pinks… P1050820

And bits of pink in the clouds north east…


The sun is just setting…and this is just the start of the show…


Some fun in the Dunes..we all loved running down!

M0saic Canyon, Death Valley☀☀Its all about the rocks..

Howdee all,

Mosaic Canyon 

This blog post is dedicated to my Rock loving family..wish I could have brought a few of these home to you…but..hope you are happy with just photos…

Mosaic is a Gorgeous canyon not to far from Stovepipe Wells.

mosaic canyon_024 Its all about the ROCKS here

mosaic canyon_027“The most common rock formation in the canyon is the Noonday Dolomite. This limestone is rich in magnesium and formed 750 to 900 million years ago when the area was part of the Pacific Ocean. This sedimentary material was later buried to great depths by younger materials and was subjected to pressures and temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, much of the limestone was altered, or metamorphosed, into marble. Subsequent uplift and erosion have since re-exposed these metamorphic rocks.” 

mosaic canyon_032 mosaic canyon_030 Some of the rock shiny and polished

mosaic canyon_036

Limestone Marblemosaic canyon_040

A close up of the Marble mosaic canyon_038 Jeff and Andrew taking photos of the marble

mosaic canyon_041shiny marble carved by watermosaic canyon_042Polished

mosaic canyon_043

Rocks coming out of rock walls..mosaic canyon_044We hiked in about 2 milesmosaic canyon_056and it was truly all about the

ROCKSmosaic canyon_054mosaic canyon_055      Blue Green coming out of Orange

mosaic canyon_062 A mixture of the colorful rocks mosaic canyon_068I know all my family would have loved some of these colorful rocks..

but..this is a Park… mosaic canyon_065 So I send you virtual rocks

mosaic canyon_092

  Large ONES..

mosaic canyon_094

Conglomeratesmosaic canyon_095

A rock mass melting on top of another rockmosaic canyon_047

An interesting colorful layered rock mosaic canyon_109interesting stitching on this orange rockmosaic canyon_112Marvelous Marblemosaic canyon_113Rocks in Rocks in rocks….mosaic canyon_114mosaic canyon_115   more rocks with that white stitch marking… mosaic canyon_117          See the white marks

mosaic canyon_107

A Marble slidemosaic canyon_134 Colorful … mosaic canyon_139Painted by time… mosaic canyon_140 Mud rock….

mosaic canyon_141 and amidst the rocks….

Plant life

mosaic canyon_071 It is so amazing how well these plants have adapted

mosaic canyon_138

to this dry climatemosaic canyon_120

mosaic canyon_121

Beauty in the beast…mosaic canyon_085  mosaic canyon_123mosaic canyon_077 And living creatures…I found this dried up Tarantulamosaic canyon_128A Rock serpent ..showing off

mosaic canyon_079 We all had a great time…Andrew climbed higher to see further

mosaic canyon_060

We enjoy climbing on rocks..mosaic canyon_098

mosaic canyon_137

Playingmosaic canyon_157 …Sliding on the slippery marble surface…

mosaic canyon_155  And just absorbing the scenemosaic canyon_150The end of the road for us was this tall waterless fall….no climbing gear…mosaic canyon_105

So we left …jumping for joy…

at the sights we had seen   mosaic canyon_152It was a wonderful place……   mosaic canyon_162