March 2, 2017

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

"The desert takes our dreams away from us, and they don't always return...Those who don't return become a part of the clouds, a part of the animals that hide in the ravines and of the water that comes from the earth. They become part of everything...They become the Soul of the World."
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


Our destination upon leaving Point Mugu State Park was Cottonwood Springs Rd just a mile north of Interstate 10, which is the south overflow camping area of Joshua Tree National Park. But 40-50 mile per hour gusts that were pounding the I-10 corridor and a inoperative fridge made us head toward a sheltered harbor and 30 amp service...so we headed to Desert Hot Springs. 



But we did have a wonderful surprise on our detour. the Rauschers were also headed north on I-10 toward Lancaster for some repair work themselves. With some coordination of time, speed and miles, we were able to connect for a nice lunch at the Chiriaco Summit Cafe. The grilled food smelled so good, it permeated all around our table, drawing the scrutiny of the local feral cats.
Dome Rock Boondocking


After a brief stay in Desert Hot Springs to try to cool our refrigerator, we headed toward Quartzite, AZ to see if we could find our dear friend Frank Roberts. Once we found a campsite on Dome Rock Road, we scurried off to locate Frank among the horde of rigs at La Posa South Long Term Visitor Area. Although we initially thought Frank's directions to his rig were "spotty" to say the least, we were quite shocked that we actually found him. As this was our first time to embrace the Quartzite Experience (and quickly we realized it would also be our last), we were amazed by the number and type of recreational vehicles scattered throughout the desert. Truly mind boggling...and we were only witnessing a partial gathering of campers. This was the last day of the show, thus the mass exodus had already begun. The next morning, we bid a 'see you later' to Frank and headed south to Palm Canyon Drive and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.




The name Kofa comes from a former area gold mine: the King of Arizona mine, with Kofa a contraction of the name. In 1936, the Arizona Boy Scouts mounted a statewide campaign to protect the bighorn sheep, leading to the creation of this refuge. Encompassing over 665,400 acres, Kofa was officially established in 1939 and the desert bighorn sheep is now the official mascot for the Arizona Boy Scouts. We drove the gravel road for about 7 miles looking for a campsite that was accessible, flat and had some great views. 












We found the ideal spot within this tiny morsel of the Sonoran Desert, surrounded by miles of cactus laden plains and mountain peaks, a wonderful place to relax. Oh how I love the the solitude and isolation...it intoxicates me with the freedom of others, offering the peacefulness for my inner thoughts to dance free and see nature's beauty without filters. 





At the end of the road is a short hike up through Palm Canyon...the palms are quite hidden, but there. Scanning down toward the valley floor points out just how isolated this hidden paradise is...although we did see two of our fellow bloggers camped here Gaeylyn of GeoGypsy and Ray of Love Your RV.









Imke and Sydney walked many of the sandy washes near our campsite, marveling at the beauty of the diverse desert gardens. And poor Sydney, never having experience those dreaded barbs from the Teddy Bear Cholla, certainly let us know when she had her first encounter with one. It only took that one time for us to learn that you never hike in the desert without your trusty Leatherman or are least a pair of needle nose pliers in your back pocket. Aaaaaaah, and then there were those spectacular sunsets...the sun and the earth in desert sunsets always seem brighter, wilder...more demanding, more silent...somehow more certain. Kofa is beautiful.

At Waypoint 33.35876, -114.13633

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