Monday, February 23 (continued)
The previous post ends with Bridget and me heading east on Interstate 10 toward Blythe, at the California-Arizona border. We don’t go that far. About ten miles east of Desert Center, we take exit 201 onto Chuckwalla Road.
We immediately approach a “Road Closed” sign.
Fortunately right before the barrier, Corn Springs Road goes off to the right (south), and that’s the road I want to take!
It’s a wide, gravel-and-dirt road in washboard condition (not terrible . . . We’ve been on worse!). As you can see in the above photo that looks back toward the interstate, we are crossing flat desert, part of Chuckwalla Valley.
It’s a lizard, specifically Sauromalus ater or Common Chuckwalla. Their range is the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southern Nevada and Utah, western Arizona and south to Sonora, Mexico and the mainland and islands of Baja.
Bridget and I are on Corn Springs Road which takes us into the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness.
My California Benchmark atlas shows a campground about ten miles from the interstate on this road. Dark clouds hover over us, as well as over the mountains ahead of us.
“Okay, honey. Let’s stop for a minute and get our bearings. You probably need a break.”
Sure enough. I let her out and she’s relieved in more ways than one. While Bridget wanders around, I check my Verizon air card for signal.
Hmm… 4G and two bars.
Then if there’s no signal at our camp, I’ll know how far out of the canyon I need to travel to get online. I’m always thinking of my blog’s readers!
Vehicles are restricted to roads. I pass a “No Hunting” sign. As we enter the mountain area, the road curves along a wash and goes up and down and around.
I know we have reached the campground when palm trees come into view.
The BLM Corn Springs Campground site says there are petroglyphs and sixty palm trees.
I’m not going to let this dark day and dead palms color my perception of the campground. It is what it is . . . . .
I pull into the campground loop and park next to the vault toilet building.
“C’mon, Bridge. No one is here. Let’s walk around and see what we can see!”
Instantaneously Bridget turns from passenger dog to Junior Camp Host. She leads me to the different campsites. This is a good one . . . .
The campground is surrounded by mountains, near and far. It’s quiet here, very pleasant.
The campground has two vault toilets and nine sites, including a group site. Picnic tables, fire pits, and grills. A few sites have shelters. Trash containers are here and there. Also a hand pump for water, although a sign says water is limited. Sites are back in. We’d fit fine at our 34 feet.
I pick a table for our picnic and share the sandwich with Bridget. While eating, I consider where we might camp.
We could camp here. It’s nice enough and no one is here. Of course, someone could pull in at any time and ruin the peace and quiet. It’s not likely, but still . . . . I saw that boondock on the way here . . . Gee, that was a great spot . . . .
I wrap up the remaining half of the sandwich and get up from the table.
“Let’s go. You want to be a boondocker, Bridge?”
She answers by scampering around me and scurrying toward the PTV, stopping briefly to check on another tantalizing smell.
It’s located at the entrance to the mountains and feels less closed-in. We’re in compliance with the camping rule, well within 100 feet from the center of the road at an established site as evidenced by a fire ring of rocks and a pull-through around some creosote bushes.
I peek through the curtains and see the tiny lights of vehicles on the interstate several miles away. Wind rushes through the canyon. The BLT rocks slightly.
When a calm day arrives, we’ll move to the next camp. In the meantime, Bridget and I can hike, relax, and enjoy this place!
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