Rock Town Adventures

February 10-16, 2023

What turned out to be a week-long adventure began with a two-night camping trip with friends Rebecca and Dale to City of Rocks, one of our favorite destinations, and now just a short hop from home.

We did not anticipate the sudden change in weather, with high temperatures only in the 40s, paired with our classic springtime non-stop gale force winds.

We McGyvered a windbreak by lashing a tarp to a pair of hoodoos ...

... and enjoyed a lovely campfire!

The next day we tackled Table Mountain, with a few variations.

First, we bushwhacked straight up the side instead of taking the long, loopy trail.

That left us time to explore the mesa top, where we found additional trails and a well-used campsite among the rocks. Above the pour-off there was, as we suspected, an old, dry tank.

And nearby we were very surprised to stumble across a geocache with lots of entries dating back to 2016.

Just when you figure you've gone where noone has gone before, a geocache!

This cool-looking and very early spring flower appears to be a Nevada Biscuitroot.

A beautiful sunset, signaling a big change in the weather!

We had planned to return home for a day or so before heading to Tucson, but the forecast was calling for snow, and after narrowly escaping the previous week's freak snowstorm, we weren't interested in driving over the Divide between Silver City and Lordsburg. And so we headed straight for Tucson, with a stop at some dispersed camping near Bowie, Arizona.

We had just time for a sunset scramble into the tumble of rocks above the camping area.

We squeezed in one more hike the following morning, in search of a spring that fellow campers suggested to us. In such a bone-dry environment, we had no expectation of finding running water, but off across the desert we went. But oh my, what are all those bedrock mortars, a and how did they end up at such a rakish angle?

And sure enough, tucked into a hollow at the base of a cliff was a beautiful, bubbling stream, surrounded by dozens of grinding holes!

Madeleine in the morning.

Feeling recharged, we continued on that awful stretch of I-10 between Lordsburg and Willcox, dodging potholes worthy of downtown Silver City, and with every passing semi tossing us like a rowboat on the open sea. Meanwhile, this is what happened back home!

Shovelers and a Vermilion Flycatcher.

Photos were taken at Los Morteros, one of the many wetlands being restored along the Santa Cruz River. I am very impressed by the recreation of historic habitat, resulting in some lovely parks and great birding areas along Tucson's "The Loop" network of bike paths.

We were happy to have a few days away from the cold and the wind to get stuff done and visit friends, although we were horrified by Tucson traffic. It took us an hour and a half to drive 25 miles to meet Matt and Susan for breakfast. Was it really this bad, or has it worsened since we moved away two years ago?