Lost and Thought I’d Have to Spend the Night In a Cave and Thumb Crackers

Saturday March 10, 2018 Horse Tank, Kofa NWR Arizona

Headed for Horse Tank Kofa NWR

I’m headed out down highway 95 to Horse Tank in the Kofa NWR. I turned off here on King Valley Road.95south1


I stopped at the kiosk to check on the map. I’m headed to Horse tanks, the first right off the King valley road, number 42horsetank2


What is a tank

Tanks are what they call anything that holds water in this desert. A hole in the rocks that catches rain water is a tank as well as any man made thing that holds water so an animal can get a drink. Rocks in a creek that catch water are tanks. Most of the tanks in this area are rocky holes in the creeks which only run when it rains or the snow melts to fell up the tanks.

I drove out the road to Horse Tanks. It wasn’t too bad a little rough in a couple spots.road3


When I got to the grinder hole cave area there were about six jeeps there so I turned around and went back to the first camp on the left to camp which was not far from that cave.


The first thing I did was make a cup of coffee and relaxed.coffe4


Everyone drives through your camp spot

Here’s my camp spot. A lot closer to the road than I’d like, but they won’t let you camp more than a hundred feet from the road anymore which sucks as it’s like every one that comes down the road is going right through your campsite.camp5


Finally checking out this cave and others too

Here’s some of what the hills look like around here. I’m headed out for a short hike up to a cave with rocks in front of it that I saw a couple years ago and haven’t been able to check it out until now.cavey7


The cave I wanted to check out is up there on this hill side, so I’m headed up that way.cave8


This is looking back to where I’m parked which I’d hiked through to get to this spot.desert9


Checking out caves

I passed quite a few caves that I stopped to check out.cave10


None of the caves looked like anyone ever lived in them.  Some of them  had animal droppings in them like an animal waited out a storm there.cave11


This was the cave I wanted to c heck out

Here’s the cave I saw with the rocks piled in front of it. Turned out to be just some rocks that fell off the top as it crumbled and it wasn’t very high either only a few feet. But at least the rocks is what got me to hike up to this spot. It’s called exploring.rockcave12


I took a different route on the way down walking along this ledge as I went.walk13


Nosing around

I’d stick my nose into anything that looked interesting.cave14


Things on the way

I stepped over this spider and had to put my glasses on to see if it was alive or dead. It was dead. It was a couple inches wide.spider15


My eye caught this white thing up on a rocky ledge just above me. It looks like a honey bee nest with nobody home.hive16


There aren’t many flowers blooming yet around here, but this one was as I was almost back to camp.flower16


Thumb crackers

I was hungry for a snack so I put some pounded yam flour and some wheat flour and some salt together until I could roll it out into a three quarter inch round log. I cut that into half inch pieces and used my thumb to press the dough into these shapes, thus thumb crackers are born.crackers17


I fried them in coconut oil and they were pretty good as they all disappeared.

I got lost on this little hike

I rested up for the rest of the afternoon, but around 4:30 I thought another little walk would be good.

I thought I’d walk about a mile or so down the wash that goes by me and out into the desert so I took off down this wash.washhike21


Of course other washes came into this one and they all pretty much looked alike.

Old jeep road

I spotted this cement thing up ahead so I went over to check it out and crossed an old jeep road that I knew said no jeeps but there were fresh tracks on it.  This fact would get me lost a bit later.desert22


It looked like some kind of a rain catch and watering hole that someone had made a long time ago. It didn’t look like it worked very well, but maybe it did a long time ago. It was dry and most of the old plumbing was gone.tank23


Time to turn back

I walked on past that area and eventually turned back headed for the van, I hoped, all I  had to do was hit the main road and follow it back to my van.

I went through  here and soon crossed a road with some tracks on it that I thought were the no jeeping road with the tracks I’d seen earlier. The place I crossed the road was in a wash so it didn’t look like the main road, but it was and this is were I screwed up because I kept going looking to run into the main road soon, but I didn’t.lost25


About an hour before dark and I’m lost, sorta

I had about an hour before dark. I was thinking I might have to spend the night in a cave and wait until tomorrow when some one drives in the main road so I could find it. The first and only people that drove in the next day did so about 2pm as it turned out.

I had no flash light but did have a lighter. If it got dark on me I would need to stop and spend the night where I was. No moon.  I was dressed lightly which shouldn’t be too bad as the nights were about 45 degrees F. I’d be chilled but figured I could make it and could start a fire if I needed to. But really any movement in the dark without a light would be insane with all these prickly things around here.

When I crossed the thought to be closed to jeeping road I was about a  mile down the road from the van.

Messed up

I crossed that road and continued looking for the main road where I thought it should be, but I couldn’t find it. I was hurrying along now as it wouldn’t be long before dark. I veered to the right and turned from the hills that were there. I was running out of time.

Found, one main road

All of a sudden I came up onto this road, the main road and I had about a half hour until dark. I looked at the road with a smile as I knew I’d make it back to the van now.road25


Once I was certain which way the van was I started up the road at a good pace to make it before dark. It was at least a mile maybe two to make it back to the van.

Here was my first view of the van pared to the right there and it’s not dark yet, but will soon be, but I’m good for the night. Home sweat home.van26


That wrapped up the day for more exercise than I planned for. Such are experiences while exploring and good that no spiders and monsters were able to get me in the night. :O)

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Checking Out Adel’s Roof and Prepping For A Desert Camp Trip

Friday March 9, 2018 Quartzsite Arizona

Made some plans

I got up  this morning and went over to visit with Marty and Patti for a bit letting them know what my plans were for the next week.

Checking Adel’s skylights for leaks

Today I needed to get drinking water and gas, but first I had an appointment with Adel to go up on her roof and check out her leaky new skylights. I think she said they’ve tried three times so far to seal them and aren’t having any luck. I’ve done a few metal roofs in my time so I have the experience to do it right. But all I  have to do is get her on the roof safely and explain what I think is going on and we planned to do a water test which is the proof of everything. They were trying to say the new skylight was leaking and not their work, so the water will tell the truth.

Making things safe

First I had to get Adel safely on the roof. She was not feeling safe going up there on the ladder, so.

Fist I had her park her truck up close to the house. Now that we had a good base, I put this ladder up, but it wasn’t really tall enough a ladder to get on a roof. It should go way over the roof so one has something to hold onto when moving from the ladder to the roof. I had her get another longer ladder. We than tied the longer ladder to the truck rack and everything was real stable. We used the longer ladder, but I didn’t get a picture of it,  but this is the general setup.ladder1


She was still concerned and wanted a rope over the roof so she could hold on so we installed that, although I don’t think we really needed it, but if it made it safer for her, ok.skylight2


Terrible work

I could see by looking at their work, that it was worse than bad, more like terrible. If the metal was done properly, very little sealer is required and certainly not some tape that the hot sun will eat up fairly quickly.tape3


I spotted this nail that wasn’t driven in all the way and not sealed either. This could be a slow leak.nail


Need to do it right

She was having big leaks. The metal flashing corners should overlap so water goes over them like a waterfall and just flows over the tops and away from the skylight, but they failed to do the metal right, so now, nothing they can do can fix this except temporarily because the sun will mess any sealant up used in time and it will leak again. The right way and the only way to fix this is start over with larger pieces of metal and do it right or it will always cause problems.

Leak testing with water

The guys doing the work were saying they think the new skylights were leaking so I had Adel get her water hose up there and I started hosing the roof down from bottom to top keeping the water off the skylight part to check for leaks. If it leaked the flashing was bad. So I watered while Adel went into her house and watched for water.hose4


Lots of leaks

The first sky light leaked real bad near the top where all the tape was. We tested the other skylight as she said it was ok during the last rain, but it leaked too, so now we know the skylights are likely ok, and the work they did is real bad. Lucky she has a five year warranty, but if they don’t fix it right, it won’t be long enough.

When we got done she called them and told them what we found and asked if the guy wanted to talk to me about it. He didn’t which was ok with me because trying to explain stuff on the phone like this isn’t easy.

I’ll check back on Tuesday

They said they’d be here next Tuesday so I’ll be coming out of the desert on that day and will stop by to see how things are going.

Just as I was leaving her neighbor came by with his tractor to spread the gravel out for her.jim


Getting drinking water

My Friends tell me the PitStop is the best place to get the best water around here so I drove over there to tank up.

I took off and drove back to Quartzsite and went to the PitStop to get some drinking water.water


I took on five gallons just to have plenty of extra and then headed to the gas station for gas.

From the gas station it wasn’t far to the library to do internet stuff and post this blog.

Next few days plans

My plan is to head for the Kofa tomorrow and go to a place called Horse Tank just below where I was last time.

I’ll be there until next Tuesday so you’ll hear from me again when I get back.

That was my day.

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