Days of Nights

in search of dark skies

Category: landscapes (Page 2 of 5)

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Pima County AZ.

After a week of Phoenix and Tucson and spending a large chunk of money on truck repairs, it was time to retreat and park myself for awhile. No driving. No spending money. Buenos Aires was just what I needed. In addition there are very dark skies and I stayed to watch the lunar eclipse. This became an experiment in managing my water resources. I ran out of fresh water in the trailer and maxxed out the gray water both on the 9th day. I had an extra 12 gallons in the truck and drew of 5 of the gray water into a separate container. There are those who scatter their gray water in the bushes. I am not doing that. So practically speaking, the way I do things, I am good for 8 days. Which includes doing dishes twice daily, a light laundry, a body wash, and washing my hair.

This area is 10 miles from the Mexico border so there is a lot of Patrol activity. White SUVs along the roads, including driving through the refuge, and overhead aircraft, F-15s, surveillance jets, and helicopters.

The nearby town of Arivaca is interesting. It has been here since the 1700s. Formerly had its day when mining was going on about 100 years ago. Now being populated by artists, humanitarians, and tourists. Just outside of town is the unique La Siesta RV Park. Steve has been theme-ing it with vintage travel trailers. Nice park. Nice guy.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake Recreation Area. Gila County AZ.

Gold Butte National Monument. Clark County NV.

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. Lincoln County NV.

Valley of Fire State Park. Clark County NV.

Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Clark County NV.

Lee Canyon. Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.

Back into the pinyon forest. This time at 7300 ft./ 2220 m. Lee Canyon Road in the northern part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The first night the temperature fell to 16 F./ -9 C. High temperatures in the 40’s/ 7 C. Two thing to do here. Check out Mary Jane Falls by Mt. Charleston and to see if the Desert Wildlife Refuge on the other side of Hwy 95 has suitable sites for truck and trailer. It’s all good. Aspen and Ponderosa pine on the other side of the mountain. No trees on the desert floor. The area to the west of the NWR is the Nevada Test Site where atomic bombs were tested from 1952 to 1964.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Lovell Canyon

Less than hour east of Pahrump is Lovell Canyon in the Spring Mountains Recreation Area in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Camping in the canyon is dispersed only so it’s up to you to find a good spot. I did. The Lovell Canyon Road is paved. Nice. The campsite is on a side road.  I had to take the truck and trailer down and up the creek crossing. Fairly rough dirt road a mile or so in, but a relatively clean site with a decent amount of vegetation throughout. Pinyon, juniper, sage, manzanita, and some plants I have never seen before. Time to get educated. The campsite across the road had very little left growing and much broken glass and shotgun shells. Humans are really messy creatures. Thanksgiving Day getting acquainted with my immediate surroundings and a pre-prepared dinner. Star gazing is seriously compromised by the light pollution from Las Vegas. It’s like the first light of dawn all night long. Friday what was to be a light hike up the northern end of the canyon turned into a 6-mile hike. Easy well-maintained trail. I love the pinyon forests. They are peaceful places with a lot of biological diversity. Saturday a bit of housekeeping. Sunday a leisurely day as I decided to stay a night longer than I had planned. Too nice to leave. Monday morning came in really windy with storm clouds racing above. It cleared up by 1000 am and I set to work packing up the trailer and hitching up. No phone signal for 5 whole days. Saturday was the only day there was any traffic on the road. A shooter up the road off and on all day long. Even though it is prohibited and there are signs posted all around. All in all I had an enjoyable stay here.

Death Valley National Park

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