There is hope that Arizona is warmer (in theory it is but in practice not necessarily so).
Winnie entered Arizona from the west and after passing through nondescript Blythe (don’t bother visiting), the first interesting town on the horizon is Quartzite. A little bit different, a little bit strange, certainly in the medal hunt for towns that CrossCountry Bob doesn’t ever need to return to.
But Quartzite has some of the best beef jerky around according to the sign…
Not usually taken by this kind of thing, CrossCountry Bob wanted to try that beef jerky. Verdict: Some of the priciest beef jerky CrossCountry Bob has experienced and that includes those gas station quick marts. Oh…the flavour? Not the finest in the land…and CrossCountry Bob won’t be back for more.
One thing that defines Quartzite – it is a place where the living is cheap scattered across the desert, off the grid, a cheap boondockers delight (you have to not mind company – this isn’t the place for solitary boondockers (that would be CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie)).
Quartzite is also a place where the off-road crowd gathers as the off-roading is great (so CrossCountry Bob is told).
Well, everyone has their own preference. And the preference of CrossCountry Bob and Paintiń Peggie is to keep on moving, so goodbye Quartzite!
An overall note – this trip south in Winnie is somewhat reminiscent of the cross Canada journey of 2018 as there is a theme driving the journey. In Canada it was following the path of the Group of Seven. Now, it is following the trail of several desert painting artists that Paintin’ Peggie has been in contact with, learning their favourite haunts where the painting is and the tourist isn’t.
The first of those spots in Arizona was the Canyon of Palms on the edge of the Koufu Wildlife Reserve. Yes, painting country it is and, bonus, it is quality boondocking country
From Winnie to the canyon entrance is an 8 km bike ride.
From there, a half hour hike up the canyon to Arizona’s native palms that survive only in a cleft in the canyon wall
Not spectacular perhaps (and so not a tourist hotspot), and not exactly paintable, but the idea of these palms (the only Arizona native palm) surviving in this one unique spot shielded from the worst of the desert climatecertainly made a distinct impression on CrossCountry Bob. Life always finds a way and the myriad adaptability is rather incredible. The Earth changes constantly and life adapts.
CrossCountry Bob thinks people today would perhaps calm down just a little if they remembered that the world is not static. As Paintin’ Peggie said during one hike, “All this beauty is from things changing all the time”
And CrossCountry Bob will leave that there (for now).
And now, after that brief reality check, back to Palm Canyon. CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie leave the canyon palms to their peaceful existence, and hike further up the canyon until the tumble of boulders makes further progress more pain than fun. Being entirely adaptable (see how that works), Paintin’ Peggie decides right where she is will be a nice spot to setup and paint. And so she does. CrossCountry Bob (infinitely adaptable in the partnership game) sets up the portable stool (he wisely carted up) and taps away on the iPad keyboard.
Another form of adaptability is the location adaptability of CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie. The weather in Arizona has been kind for a few days – sunny and, yes, warm! BUT change was coming in the form of high winds, dust and cooler temperatures. No point in toughing that out so Winnie is rolling southeast towards Tucson.
Well, Tucson worked out for ducking the worst of the weather but it certainty didn’t work out for the eBikes.
The next post (coming shortly) will fill you in on that.
Meanwhile, with the grandbaby pictures receiving such rave reviews, here are a few more…