Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, at 860,000 acres, is the third largest NWR in the lower 48 states. Most of it is complete wilderness, but a couple 4-wheel-drive roads exist along the edges of the park. I decide to give the Charlie Bell Road access point a try just west of Ajo.
The entrance sign is pretty sun-baked. Not much rain ever gets to these parts of southern Arizona.
I see no other humans on my late afternoon visit. Just a few cool birds, like this Gila Woodpecker...
A happy bird condo within this old saguaro...
and the very cool "black cardinal"-- the Phainopepla...
The little yellow Tracker makes its way merrily up and down the single-lane dirt road. On pavement and super-highways, this car is a sluggish Econobox, but point it to an off-road trail, and watch it delight in rock-crawling!
The little yellow Tracker recently celebrated a big milestone while driving the deserts of Arizona -- 100,000 miles on the odometer! It sure helps that no miles get recorded when it's pulled as a toad, but not too shabby an accomplishment for a 13-year-old vehicle!
As the sun gets lower on the horizon, I stop to take a few shots of the desert landscapes around me. Quite a place to get away from all the noise of modern-day American life. As they so often do, visiting a National Wildlife Refuge brings my soul back into balance and rekindles my respect and awe of the wildlife that we share this world with.
After a relaxing and invigorating few days in Ajo, it's time to head west to Yuma to reunite with my Baja traveling buddies (and fellow View owners), Hans and Ursula. We decide to meet up at the RV park we last camped at together last year (McCoy's), and by a bit of luck and arm-twisting, happen to get the exact 2 spots we had last year under the palm trees.
Just like last year, Ursula greets me with a bottle of chilled champagne for our first "sundowners" celebration.
Our week in Yuma is consumed mostly by visits to Los Algodones to see the dentists. Lots of waiting (and waiting and waiting) in their busy offices. But we did discover a fabulous fish taco stand at least (Lupita's Shrimp & Fish). Pretty cheap too!
After a few evening hikes along the lettuce field embankments, our week at McCoy's quickly comes to an end.
We have packed up our Views and are ready for another excursion to Mexico! This time, a quick jaunt for a few weeks into northern Baja. Stay tuned!