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67avion

Carbondale, Illinois

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Posted: 03/24/17 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The story begins with me saying to Sweet Jane: "Why don't we go to New Orleans for my birthday? We'll take along Hula the Wonder Dog, the mini Australian Shepherd. She's such a smart little dog and a good traveler", I said.

[image]

So we traveled to New Orleans, saw our niece and nephew, and had a great birthday dinner. Later we tried to stump the bartenders with orders of obscure drinks. Needless to say, we failed to beat the New Orleans Mixologists. The next day was a bit hazy.

We decided to go to Cajun Country near Lafayette for a few days. Then I said to Sweet Jane in a true truck camping moment: "I hear there is once in a life time bloom of desert wildflowers in Arizona and California. Particularly in Anza - Borrego Desert State Park.

Jane said, let's roll. So we headed to California by way of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.

[image]

There is a 43 mile road through the park that the rangers said was a "high clearance 4 wheel drive" road. Of course I took the truck camper. It was a rough road, but the stares of folks along the road with their expedition vehicles was quite enjoyable as we rumbled along.


There were huge swaths of desert flowers at Organ Pipe. We stayed in the campground which had just a few primitive spaces on the week day we were there. No problem with our solar and water tanks.

[image]

We headed for Anza-Borrego as we left Organ Pipe. Our GPS had us traveling through the Mexican border at Pikeville, Arizona. The border was just a few miles from the Park so we said, why not? I talked to the ICE guys and they assured me we'd have no trouble getting back into the US even though I wasn't carrying a passport and we didn't have dog papers.

We traveled on Mexico 2 from Sonoyta. It was an extremely nice road, well kept and lightly used. We saw trash containers that looked like sculpture.

[image]

We noted that there were a lot of abandoned buildings along the way, though the road shrines were still intact.

[image]

Jane and I decided to eat at a Mexican truck stop. We left Hula in the car. Great meal.

When we got back to the truck Hula had eaten the GPS.

[image]

I know people say that your dog can get exasperated with you while cooped up. And then they do something that is really, really amazing. But, we trusted Hula. And we thought she trusted us.

Now we had no GPS and we had no map. We wanted to get back into the US on the way to Anza - Borrego Desert State Park in California. We blundered through San Luis, Mexico and were directed to a road that would take into US Immigration. It was a very long line. The line was so long that food vendors worked from the buildings alongside the queue. It moved so slow that you could order ala carte and guys would bring the food to your truck or car. We had burritos and tacos.

We finally made it across the border due to an ICE agent who spent a lot of time in our home town. He decided we were OK. Including Hula. We immediately headed for a Walmart to get another GPS.

We got to Anza - Borregos Desert State Park late at night due to the border crossing. We had no idea of the number of people who were out looking for the "Bloom of a Lifetime". Everything everywhere was filled. We managed to get to a road north of Borregos Springs and boondocked.

In the morning we headed back to Borregos Springs area. We took a wrong turn and wound up in Galetta Meadow, a development of some sort, where there were metal sculptures of fantastical animals as far as you could see.

[image]

Turns out the sculptor is Richardo Breceda, a self taught artist. He was commissioned by the developer, a fellow named Dennis Avery, and has created over 129 of the sculptures in the last decade.

[image]

But, the amazing thing was that the area was absolutely filled with desert wildflowers. As many as we had seen anywhere. Jane tiptoed through the flowers with Hula.

I was reminded of Tiny Tim who sang "Tip Toe Through the Tulips":

"Knee deep in flowers we'll stray
We'll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?"

[image]

The crowds crowded us out so we headed north to Joshua Tree National Park.

[image]

[image]

As usual when we wanted to camp the park was closing, and NO there were no camping spaces. So that was another boondocking night on nearby BLM land. Not bad at all. Its why I love truck camping.

[image]

We headed home through Texas. Visiting old friends. At one point I looked in the back seat after detecting a pungent oily smell. Hula had eaten into the Ketane additive for the diesel engine. She was alright. But, we're going to change our camping style or this dog is going to do us all in. Hula the Wonder Dog...I hardly know you.





Lwiddis

Lone Pine, CA

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Posted: 03/24/17 06:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful photography, interesting story.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


Mortimer Brewster

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Posted: 03/24/17 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful pics! What did you use to take them?
The bright side of your dog eating your GPS is that you know that she will always be able to find her way home.

67avion

Carbondale, Illinois

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Posted: 03/24/17 06:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LOL. That is funny. I use a Sony Camera with my old Leica rangefinder lenses. I also use HDR when appropriate. Usually one stop increments, but sometimes 2 stops.

noteven

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Posted: 03/24/17 07:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful images (well except for the dogchewed GPS) thanks for posting.

* This post was edited 03/24/17 07:27pm by an administrator/moderator *

Redwoodcamper

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Posted: 03/24/17 07:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures. Kudos to you for camping in those spots. Poor dog needs to do some running. Those can be great dogs but they have alot of energy. Usually they have crazy eyes. I like them.


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67avion

Carbondale, Illinois

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Posted: 03/24/17 07:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are absolutely right. We run her back and forth and she never tires out. As to the eyes, they're bright blue and often wild looking.

GpnAZ

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Posted: 03/24/17 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a grand adventure, all for the sake of wildflowers and I always enjoy your photography!


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billyray50

North Dallas

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Posted: 03/25/17 07:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic Pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 03/25/17 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dogs NEED to chew.

If you don't give them something to chew on......available ALL the time.....they will find something. My daughter's new puppy has destroyed two shower curtains of all things.

Sometimes I think they are sending a message too.

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