Monday, February 27, 2012

Brilliant Mohave and Apache Colors

With Anza-Borrego still being dry as a bone with no wildflowers, we headed back across the Mohave desert towards Arizona.  I had recalled Al from The Bayfield Bunch stopping at the Desert Lily Sanctuary a couple weeks ago and seeing some amazing flowers, so I decided to make a quick detour off of I-10 just east of Joshua Tree National Park.

For the first 5 or 6 miles, it appeared to look like typical dry desert.  But then suddenly, there they were—wildflowers!  A literally carpet of color for as far as the eye could see!
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The white flowers are called Dune Evening Primrose and the purple ones are Desert Sand Verbena.  They thrive here (and what seems to be “only” here) in the loose sand of the Mohave desert during Spring.  Photographer’s paradise!
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Mom and Millie waited patiently as I crawled around in the sand with my SLR, tripod, and assortment of neutral density filters.
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We then resumed our dull highway travels along I-10 and spent the night boondocking at Quartzsite at the convenient Dome Rock Mountain BLM area.  It was so strange driving through town the next day seeing the big RV Show tent gone, all the lots at the big RV dealers empty, and most of the desert land again unoccupied from the hoards of thousands that camp there each January.

After filling up with gas, we made our way through Phoenix and over to Lost Dutchman State Park on the Apache Trail east of town.  Even though I had just camped there a few weeks ago, my mom really wanted to see the Apache Trail, so I lucked out and was able to reserve a campsite for the night.

We quickly headed out in the late afternoon to drive the Apache Trail a bit so she could see some of the harrowing cliffside single-lane roads I drove the View on last year (this year, smartly, I drove the Tracker!).  

Even in the few short weeks since I’d been there, there were many more flowers beginning to bloom—lots of desert lupine:
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It was a terrific way to end our short, jam-packed vacation.  After watching the sun set over Phoenix, we settled into the View for the night and prepare to return back to Tucson the next day.

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12 comments:

  1. It is such a rare treat to get to see the desert in bloom! Thank you for sharing this! Flowers were beautiful!

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    1. thanks Geri-- these were the first flowers I'd ever seen in the desert and it was quite a thrill indeed!

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  2. I love reading your adventures and seeing the beautiful pictures. Hopefully my hubby and I can head out on a similar adventure someday. Safe travels to you, and I hope Millie gets well soon from her paw problems! Our dog had to undergo radiation treatments and they worked very well and gave her a few extra years from a very difficult to treat cancer.

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    1. Thanks Stef, I do hope you can get out and travel soon...even exploring new things an hour away from the house can be fun sometimes! Millie is doing well so far...paws crossed that she can be done with the vet for awhile real soon. I had no idea so many others had dogs with cancer. It's such a blessing to have options to give them.

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  3. Beautiful photos. You hit the desert at the right time !!!

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    1. of course now I continue to be disappointed that I've yet to find any other of these large wildflower spreads....but sure glad I saw this one!

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  4. Beautiful shots of the desert blooms.

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    1. thanks Contessa. Still can't match your gorgeous beach sunsets, but I'm trying!!!

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  5. I'm really enjoying your blog! Your photos and commentary are wonderful. Thanks for your efforts. My wife and I just bought an 09 24J. We take delivery in about a month so we can use it during our 30 day dealer warranty. We'll be following your travels!

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    1. How exciting! You'll have a ball with it. '09 might have been an awful year for the economy and RV manufacturers, but it was an excellent model year for Views!

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  6. I've really enjoyed your mods articles. Can I ask how hard it was to replace your halogens with leds?

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  7. Lynne, Your dessert pictures are just awesome!! Thanks for posting them. I have made my move to PA and almost settled in. Looking at getting ready to get out in my RV, but although I love it I am seriously thoinking of trading it in on a newermodel with better gas mileage. Is there such a thing? I am getting only 7.5 mpg on average. I'd like to know what others get. Especially ones who do alot of traveling, not just weekenders. I see you posted this about a month ago. Hope all is well with you and hope to see you posting again soon.

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