Saturday, January 28, 2012

Poston, AZ 1942-46 Japanese internment camp

People with 1/16 or more of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned for 3 1/2 years because of American war hysteria. People were only allowed to take whatever they could carry, which included a bedroll. This camp is on a American Indian Reservation and the native Indians refused the initial government request to put the camp on their land...but the government ignored the Indians wishes that another people be forced from their land and home by the U.S.

This memorial was built by the descendants of the camp and unfortunately is probably the nicest part of Poston.

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge

What a great stop this was. The Cibola Refuge is twenty or so miles south of Blythe in Arizona.

The access to Cibola from Blythe is across a bridge that neither California nor Arizona would build for the community. So the community built their own "Farmers Cibola Bridge" ( which has plenty of qualifications if you happen to use it).

We ended up seeing plenty of  Vermilion Flycatchers, Gambel's Quail, Coots, American Kestrels  and the Sandhill Cranes below.

Some "Great Egret's".

Our favorite of course...a bird of prey. The Burrowing Owl!
The refuge builds the owls a 4 foot deep home so the coyotes can't dig them out.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Castle dome with family.

     Ran down to Castle Dome mining town with my wife,, brother and sister-in-law. Jack, has always been the gambler in the family, he took on, one-eyed Pete, double jacks Louie and  aces Wild Willy
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Is MY brothers gun really that small!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mexican border

Mexican border at Lukeville, Az which is the town (gas station, bar and restaurant) at the border that leads to Rocky Point, MX.
Warren Buffett often says he won the parent lottery by being born on the right side of the border and to the right mom and dad.
                                                                Lukeville welcome sign.
Our hard working border patrol.


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

    Organ Pipe is a national monument that borders Mexico. It is a beautiful desert landscape with multiple types of cactus.

The organ cactus has many arms and much lower to the ground than the saguaro cactus.


Ajo, Arizona....The copper mine!

    Ajo is Spanish for garlic. No one really knows why it was named that, but it was and is only 30 miles from the Mexican border. Native Americans and the Spanish first used the wealth of minerals in the area long before white men did.

                                   It was strange seeing an old military jet setting on a dirt road
Ajo is only 190 miles from Blythe and we are glad we made the trip because it's not a place we'd like to winter in the future.
                        Ajo has a wonderful Spanish courtyard with a great deli in the middle of it.

New Cornelia, an open pit copper mine, closed in 1987.
            The New Cornelia mine museum was in a church that is beautiful in the Spanish style architecture. We had Jose as a personal tour guide who explained the whole process of copper from ground to ingot. Jose spent 40 minutes tell us of his 27 years in the mine and his father who preceded him in the 1920's. Jose lost his job in a labor dispute in 1984 shortly before the mine closed.
          Behind Donna is a sluice pipe that crosses the highway. The importance of this as Jose told us is that when the mine closed Freeport torn down all the plants, otherwise they would be taxed, working or not, but left the R&R and this pipe over the road so someday when the reopen the mine they won't have to appeal to the state to bridge the road in the future.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gary Field

         There was another airfield in Blythe, Gary Field, near the present-day golf course, which had a private pilot training school known as the Morton Air Academy. The school was contracted by the Army Air Corps early in the war to give primary training to Air Corps cadets. Gary Field had a total of three auxiliary airfields during World War II. (info borrowed from a web site)

I'm not sure who owns the field but it has been boarded and fenced for the last 50 years.

Typical of the decay of the buildings

Another borrowed aerial photo of Gary Field.

Blythe Intake

           Also referred as The Palo Verda Diversion Dam was first proposed and built in 1877 for water used in agriculture and consumption downstream.

The small lake that backs up behind the diversion dam

         I borrowed another image from the Department of Reclamation (please don't tell SOPA) so you can get more of an aerial view of the dam.

Stacking hay bales.

           Donna and I love the fact that we both find interest with day touring in the car. We constantly try to guess at what this crop is or that one. If Donna has said it once, she has said it 500 time "I wish the farmers would put a sign up telling everyone what crop is growing now". Believe it or not we sat for 20 minutes watching this guy stack bales with his machine.

                If a bale was laying on it's side, the operator would manipulate the catcher up front in order to roll the bale over to its side so it could be picked up by the machine.

The American Kestrel

              The American Kestrel, commonly called a sparrow hawk, is North America's smallest falcon.

                 This is really only our second "bird of prey" since beginning the hobby. It's very exciting to view, look up in the bird manual and be able to positively identify the species. I'm sure in the past we have seen this bird many times, but not knowing what we were looking at and knowing what we are looking at makes a huge difference.

Don't go to Midland...It's gone!

            This is the name of a book authored in 1970 by Charles Hillinger. At the time, Hillinger notes that all but 48 houses of the town were left standing when the U.S. Gypsum plant closed in 1966 after 40 years. The company torn down the community center, school, plant and most of the houses.The last 22 standing burnt to the ground in 1973.

Midland is now a ghost town...without much of a town.

Someone set up a chair and full beer on the foundation the U.S. Gypsum plant just for Donna to sit and view the beautiful landscape.

Hey!!! Where the hell is the ACLU?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Typical Quartzsite 2012

Spent the day in Quartzsite having the dogs groomed (20 bucks each!) and getting a couple more tie-dyed tee shirts...even Donna broke down and bought one.

Anton Hagely's general store. Old adobe built in 1893 that had a hotel attached to it at one time.

           Interesting story of this grand tomb stone. Hi Jolly, real name was Hadji Ali, came from Syria in 1856 to be a camel master that took care of the animals during a government experiment for an animal that was seemingly adapted to the desert. The government ended the program and let about 40 or 50 camels roam the desert for years. Hi Jolly died in 1902 and was so famous that the town built this tomb and even added the ashes of some of his beloved camels to a time capsule in the tomb.

That's right...a naked business man. Paul Winer was a very good musician years ago who gave it up and decided to  open a bookstore called "Reader's Oasis", but hates wearing clothes. Paul, who is in his late sixes, recently started working as a musician again and has a band here that plays "boogie woogie" music. The town at one time tried to clothed Paul but the ACLU got involved and the town figured he was good for business after all. This is what Quartzsite is all about!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Motorhome upkeep

While at Quartzsite for the month we decided to have some solar capability added to the motorhome at the rate of about 400 amps per hour. At the same time we decided to address the slide covers. Both were torn and the one that opened the large slide keep jamming which necessitated me getting on a ladder to put the slide out and then again to bring it in.

The old awnings with exposed gears (plastic) were chewed up and some gear sprockets
had broken.

Ron is hooking us up with new 'incased" awnings...all by himself.

Looking good but more important...functioning like it should. Quite a budget buster for a couple months but was expected and accounted for.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


   We have a new hobby (well actually it is a hobby we have always had but now more time to enjoy it) of watching, learning habits and identifying birds of prey. Eagles, Osprey's, Kites, Hawks, Falcons, Owls and even lowly buzzards. Of course the Red-Tailed Hawk is the easiest for us so far but we are reading about some of the other hawks and falcons for identifying purposes. What I need is a better camera because favorite resting places for the hawks are telephone poles, but they fly off immediately when we park and open the car door.

Red Tail having a bad "feather day".

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


First time I have seen a Gatling Gun up close.

Some adobe bricks out to dry.

Train going east on the "Ocean to Ocean" bridge in Yuma.

Not a fence I want to be on the wrong side of...

Yuma 2012

Spent the day in Yuma going to the Territorial Prison and a few other spots.