Horse Tank Camp in the Kofa Refuge

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013, Kofa Refuge, AZ.

Camping in the Kofa

Note that there are five days of camping in this post, so it is long.

Day one

I gassed up in Quartzsite and headed down highway 95 to the King Road turn off into the Kofa Refuge. Once into the refuge, I turned right onto Castle Dome Mine Road. Four wheel drive was a good idea once onto this road as it was fairly rough and needed a slow pace. I drove up to the end of this road, which lead to Horse Tank.

It was going to be a hot day.

It was just before noon and getting hot, so I parked the van as to keep the sun out of it as much as possible. Since it was getting hotter, I decided it would be a good idea to  take it easy and stay in the shade of the van until the sun was lower in the sky.

Hiking up the Horse Tank Canyon.

Around three thirty in the afternoon, I began to stir and get ready for a hike up the Horse Tank canyon.

It was still fairly hot out, but with the sun lower in the sky, there was some shade behind rocks and trees, so I took it easy going up the trail.

The water holes make up the tank.

Below is one of the water holes in the canyon.

waterhole

 

Below is another water hole at Horse Tank. I hiked past this area and on up the canyon.

waterhole2

 

Hard rock to hike on.

Most of the hiking was fairly easy as it was over hard rock that wasn’t too steep.

Below is a picture of what I saw as I hiked up the canyon.

upview

 

Lots of holes and caves to explore.

There were a lot of holes and caves up in this area as you can see in the picture below.

upview1

 

I decided not to go all the way to the top as the canyon was gorgeous were I was at as you can see in the picture below.

upview3

 

Four guys pulling weeds in the hot sun.

I ran into these four guys up there in the canyon. They were working for the government taking out invasive weeds in the area of Horse Tank Canyon. Below you can see them at work.

weedguys

 

I decided not to stay up in the canyon too late as I still needed to find a camp spot. Below is the view down the canyon as I was headed back down the trail around five thirty PM.trailbackview

Finding a camp spot.

I had to drive back down the road a quarter mile or so as one can’t camp within a quarter mile of the water holes. I found a camp spot near some Indian caves that I will explore tomorrow.

Below is where I am camped during this writing near the Indian cave stuff, about a quarter mile down the road from the Horse Tanks.

horsetankcamp

 

It’s hot, but it’s the desert.

I made some dinner and am now taking it easy. I’s still fairly hot, but starting to cool some, around ten pm. There are some bugs out flying in the air, so it’s not a good idea to have the doors open when I need lights in the van, but right after I save this, I’m going to turn out the lights and open all the doors to try and cool it down for sleeping.

Had a great day.

Friday, Mar. 14, 2013, Horse Tank Camp

Day two

It was warm last night, so sleeping was on the not so good side.

I camped in the spot pictured below.

camped

 

A cave the Indian’s used

I was on the trail around 9:30 am this morning. The plan was to check out the Indian cave only a couple hundred yards from the van and then look around for some more Indian stuff.

Below, you can see the Indian cave.

cave5

 

Holes in the cave for grinding

The inside of the cave has a bunch of holes that where used to grind seeds.

You can see these holes in the picture below which shows the inside of the cave.

cave

 

Below is a closer look at these grinding holes. Some of them are full of water from the recent rains last week.

holes

 

Exploring the canyon

I decided to explore the canyon to the right of the cave. Below is a picture of the start of the canyon I was going to hike.

hike

 

There were quite a few water holes in the creek in the canyon from the recent rains as you can see in the picture below.

water

 

The picture below has another big water hole in it.

waterhole

 

Continuing on up the canyon, this is what it looked like. It was mostly hard rock and easy to scamper over.

hike1

 

It was a holly place

There were lots of holes and caves in the area, mostly all over the place.

The picture below shows some of these holes and caves.

holey

 

It’s cooler on the ridge tops

When I got to the upper end of the canyon, the trail went up to the top of a ridge so I went on up. One side of the ridge it was in the shade and nice and cool and the other side was out in the sun. It was easier to find shade up on the ridge than down in the canyon, one can see why the big horn sheep stay on the ridge tops mostly. It was pretty warm out, so I stayed up there for an hour or so, before heading back to the hot van parked out in the desert sun.

Below is a view from the ridge top where I stayed awhile, looking back down the canyon I had just hiked up and was about ready to hike back down in the sun.

valley

 

Hot van sitting in the sun like that

I was back at the hot van about 12:30. I tried the nap and did some puttering around the van until four pm when I made some dinner. At 6 pm, I did some in close in hiking around the van and Indian cave until dark.

The weatherman said it was going to warm up some before I left Quartzsite and it did. This is a little hotter then I’m used to. The plan is to do one more hike tomorrow morning and likely go back to Quartzsite after that.

A great place to hike and explore

Except for the heat, this is a great place to hike around and explore.

Had a nice day, despite the heat. :O)

Day Three

Friday, Mar. 15, 2013, Horse tank camp

Last night I decided to have a campfire. I have some Presto type logs to burn, as there is not much for wood around here. I got it going and finally, I was camping. There is just something about having that little flame going that makes the day.

Below is a sad case of a campfire, but it worked.

campfire

 

Morning walk to the Northeast

Since I had a campfire I was feeling better about staying longer, so when I got up I was off for a walk around 8:30 this morning to the Northeast. Or straight out from the grinding cave.

Below you can see a picture of what it looked like in the direction I hiked this morning.

northwalk

 

Now I’ll have to hike to the cave

I hiked out about a mile and unfortunately I spotted this cave up on the hill a ways away, but now I had to hike to it and check it out.

Below is a picture of the cave I spotted and had to check out.

ohohcave

 

It’s not the easiest thing to get to. I decided to go around the back way to get to it. Below is a closer view of the cave.

cave1

 

And an even closer view of the cave I was going to check out, as you can see below.

cave2

 

It took me awhile to get to it from the back side, but I did get to it.

It doesn’t look like anything used the cave except animals, but it was a good view point.

Below is the view I had of it as I approached it from the top side. It was a ways up there.

satcave

 

Rested for awhile in a cave that was cool

After viewing the cave, I moved to another one not so close to the edge and took an hour or so break in the shade out of the sun. Around noon, I decided it was time to head back to camp, so I set off down the hill and across the desert to the van.

The picture below shows my path down the  hill and I was headed into the hills just right of center.

wayback

 

It was hot in the van

I got back to the van around two pm. It was hot, but not as hot as yesterday. I napped and took it easy until around five pm, at which time I got some dinner.

The evening hike was to the west, or maybe the northwest?

Around five thirty pm , I decided to take a little hike to the west of the grinding cave about a half mile to see what was over in that direction.

I crossed the main road in which you can see below and headed towards the hill to the left.

eastwalk

 

Below is a picture of what it looked like as I walked.

walkback

 

So many holes and caves on this hike

This area proved to be have the most holes and caves of all the areas I’ve checked out so far.

Below is a picture of some of those holes.

cavehill2

 

And more of those holes and caves.

cavehill1

 

There sure were a lot of holes and caves in this area, too many to check out for now. More below.

cavehill3

 

Up high on one of the hills I spotted this cave with rocks someone put in the front. I didn’t go up to check this one out though. You can see this nice big cave below in the picture.

cavehabit

 

The sun was setting so I needed to get back to the van

The sun was setting and I needed to walk back to the van. It’s in the left of center area in the picture below which shows where I have to walk back to.

hikebackvan

 

The sun finally did set with some color as you can see in the picture below.

sunset

 

It’s nine pm now and I haven’t decided what to do tomorrow yet? Back to Quartzsite or stay here?

Right now, I’m going to get my campfire going and think about it.

Had a great day.

 

Day Four

Saturday, Mar. 16, 2013, Kofa Refuge, AZ.

I woke this morning with plans to just get washed up and head for Quartzsite,  take it easy in the morning and head out when it got hot,  But………

Maybe the day won’t be as hot?

It was such a nice day out. Maybe it won’t be as hot and there is a nice light cool breeze blowing, so I bided my time. I got washed up and left my slippers on so I wouldn’t be temped to walk too far and they were more comfortable anyway.

Tried making some tortilla’s

After sitting around for awhile, I got hungry and decided to try my hand at some tortilla’s.

I threw some ingredients together and gave it a try.

In the picture below, you can see my dough balls and one of the tortilla’s I rolled out with my trusty PVC pipe.

tortillamake

 

I cooked them in my wok, I need to work on the size a bit, too big.

Below, you can see a tortilla cooking in my wok.

cook

 

A couple of the done products are pictured below.

tortilladone

They could use some work

They were ok, but need some work as far as flavor and size and cooking, yes, more practice.

The wind was welcome this afternoon

The wind came up in the afternoon, so I just took it easy sitting in my van with the side doors open and sometimes sitting out in  my ground chair.

Only two jeeps came by this morning, stayed a short while then left the place to me.

Moved Camp

I moved camp about a quarter mile down the road, the first left. I checked it out last night, it’s closer to the big cave with the rocks in front of it. I thought it would be a good idea to try another camp area just for the sake of it anyway.

Below, you can see the van with all the doors open, in full air, at the new camp site this afternoon.

vavair

 

Below is a picture of what it looked like at my new campsite.

newcamp

 

Yesterday’s hike

Looking back across the desert to the east, you can see the area I hiked yesterday, as you can see below.

yesterdayhike

 

I took it easy today

It was fairly cool in the van this afternoon, so I took it easy. At about five thirty pm, I decided to take a little walk. I headed around the ridge I’m parked up against to the right side to try to find the rocked in cave I saw the day before.

I missed it

But I missed it, I should of went around the left side of the ridge and it would of taken me right to it.

So, not knowing for sure, I climbed over the ridge and there it was right were I left it the day before.

Below you can where the rocked in cave resides up on the hill.

caverock

That cave was not to be today

Here’s another close up of that cave.  I went over close, but decided to leave all this area for another time as it was a big area and I was feeling a bit lazy. :O)

caveman

 

Walking back to the van, I went around the left side and below is the view as I walked along, hoping to see the van soon.

view2

 

Looking up, the below view presented itself on the way back to camp.

viewhike

 

Below is another view of the hills as I was walking back to camp.

view3

 

Was the van still there after my walk?

The sun was setting and I was hoping the van would come into view soon, as there is just nothing like the reassurance that your rig is still there after a walk.

Below is a picture of what it looked like as I returned to the van after my evening walk. Nice to see the van.

camp2

It now eight thirty pm, time to put this away and get something to eat and get the camp fire going.

Had a great day out here in the Kofa.

 

Day Five in the Kofa

Sunday, Mar. 17, 2013, Kofa Horse Tank camp area

Last night I had another camp fire, but the wind was a blowing, like it is now and my fire got blown a lot, made a lot of sparks a blowing across the rocky ground.

Ouch, the cactus got me

One of those chowa cactus things attacked me last night in the dark. I went off to do my thing in the dark with a flashlight. When I got back to the van something was stinging under the tongue of my left slipper. Shining the light on it, it was all dried up needles. I got my comb, which I’d heard was a good way to deal with these things and got it off with some blood. Owe, that thing sure stung a lot. I found a bunch of other little pieces before it was over and later, more on my van floor. Those things are the worse things in the desert, for sure. :O)

 

I sleep well, and woke to my van with the sun coming in the side windows. Somehow I’d not positioned it right the day before, so I got up and turned it a little so sun is coming in the backside. Back in bed for another hour.

The tortilla’s could be better

I got up and fixed the rest of the tortilla’s I  had started the day before. I added some more salt, which helped, but I still need to work on them to make them better. Maybe starting with white flour instead of whole wheat would help for starters. :O)

I’m sitting here in my van getting ready to break camp and go back to Quartzsite.

Kofa Refuge, nice place

All in all, I found this a nice place to visit. It’s an interesting place, with all the holes and caves and just big rocks in the area. It’s easy to hike or walk around, as one can just walk up most of the hill slopes as it is mostly solid rock and most of it isn’t too steep to make it dangerous.

I highly recommend this place for those that like places like this.

To Ajo, or not?

Marty and Patti are moving their RV down to Ajo on Tuesday for a few days. I’ve been trying to decide whether to go with them or go home? At first I thought I’d go, but then I got tired and decided to go home, but after resting up again, I thought, what the hay? Or is that hey?

So, now, unless I change my mind again, I’ll go down with them for a few days to week or so.

I think I’ll hang around here for another hour or so and then head out to Quartzsite were I’ll post this at Mac D’s.

Nice day so far.

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