logistics: Quartzsite to Kofa

I was ready to leave Plomosa Rd BLM in Q; it was sparse when I got there but I have been increasingly surrounded by groups Class A and 5ers with generators, LED lights flashing all night, loose dogs, and shouty voices. Pro tip: if you park 100’ away and I know your first names before meeting you, then you talk too damn loud.


Actual quotes, actual names.

There is a leash rule but yesterday Donna’s big loose dog (“Major”) ran over to jump on Muffin as we returned to camp from a hike. It got a little rough and Donna panicked and also came running.

Muffin wasn’t overly worried about it. She doesn’t react to aggressive dogs (even much bigger ones) and can generally take care of herself if they don’t ease up. Her reaction is the dog version of “why are you behaving like that?” as she keeps on walking disinterestedly, looking over her shoulder at the offender.

Pretty sure she is part hyena:


and I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of this:


I wasn’t worried about Major either as I had a long staff, a concealed sidearm, and zero compunction about neutralizing serious threats. Another pro tip: if you like your dog unperforated/unbludgeoned then keep it from attacking me or my legally leashed dog.

errands in Q

I headed down to the flea market area and bought a set of Torx bits with driver for $4. T10 throughT40. As far as I know I only need the 40 for the loose door striker plate and T15 to adjust the low beams. I’ll get the headlights set higher next time I am around a building at night. It’s hard to align them using cacti. I also picked up a 1 1/8th” socket to fit the propane refill adapter.

I stopped back in the laundromat and took another $9 shower. It felt like plenty of time this go-‘round because my hair had been washed last time, and only took two wash/rinse cycles.

I’d heard a rumor that there was wifi in the ‘mat; if so I’d definitely have done laundry there. But it didn’t have wifi (I asked the attendant) and I didn’t really need to do laundry yet. Maybe I’ll do it after the next 14d outing.

On my way out of town I notice that Hi Jolly BLM looks to be filled normally. La Posa south of town was, too. Maybe the Big Tent is bringing them in after all? Road Runner BLM, the southernmost BLM area in Q, was pretty sparse like Plomosa had been. Maybe I’ll camp there if/when I camp in Q again.


I’d been to the Kofa Natl Wildlife Refuge before to see Palm Canyon:

The canyon is the most visited location within Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, partly since it is the last place in the state where native California palm trees grow in their natural habitat > >

My understanding is the Palms are leftovers from when the area was cooler and wetter. They live in a narrow slot where the light rarely shines so they stay cooler and moister than the surrounding desert.

As I said I’d visited Kofa, but didn’t stay there then – I was still working and on vacation at the RTR. I couldn’t stay there this time because it is too close to Q, violating the 25m+ relocation rule. Luckily Kofa extends southward and the King Rd area is far enough away. The gravel road is rough-ish with some washboard but going slow kept things from going all jackhammery. No traffic behind me so I crept along.

I think this is my first stay in a wildlife refuge but I can’t remember. There is a little roadside info kiosk that explicitly allowed dispersed camping as long as vehicles were kept on established areas.


looking south; the lightly-trafficked road is behind that berm


looking north (ok, NE)

In the bottom pic we can see how the dispersed sites are configured: broad cleared area, stone fire ring, rock line demarcating the do-not-travel line, and the NO VEHICLES BEYOND THIS POINT sign. Since the light wind is generally northerly I chose a spot on the north side of the road to reduce dust.

I have a couple bars of Verizon LTE. Signal is weaker than in Q but the cell infrastructure seems to be less hammered. Still no OTA signal. I think the last OTA I got was in Pahrump. I’m sure there is signal in the area but my window-mounted flat panel ant isn’t particularly sensitive.

It’s colder and even “rainy” (ie, some raindrops) with a bit of distant thunder today so we will likely not hike until tomorrow. The area looks promising. There are lots of saguaro (my favorite succulent desert plant), ocatillo (my favorite non-succulent desert plant, aka “candlewood”) and unfortunately cholla (my least favorite desert plant).

In a way crappy weather days are best for relocation, as driving crams much-needed power into the battery bank when solar is weak. It’s a little after 2pm local and I’m only making 99.36w (81.36 + 18.0w). That’s about 14% of rated for the mounted panels and 9% of rated for the portables.