Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Perfect Perch! -- Oct 29, 2015

Yikes!  It's the end of October already!!  The package I was waiting for in Wickenburg finally arrived last Friday, so we were outta there on Saturday morning.  It was only about 2.5 hours down to the Imperial Dam LTVA (Long Term Visitors Area) where we will stay for the winter....til about mid-March 2016.  We were here last year, too.  It's hard not to pass up this great deal for boondockers (meaning living with no water or electrical hookups.)  A lot of you weren't with me last winter, so I will try to fill you all in on this area without repeating a lot for those who were with me.  

I secured the same spot I had last year.  It is one of the few spots where no one can park near me. Most of this 11,000 acre BLM property is fairly flat, desert land.  However, I'm up on a hill which has a tremendous view of the Senator Wash Reservoir, yet it is still within walking distance to the "hub" area which is where several friends park and the desert golf course is located :-)

My first morning here -- Sunday -- gave me this fantastic sunrise over the reservoir....

I took so many sunrise pictures last year from the same spot, 
but it's still mesmerizing!  And each one is so different!

This is on the main hub area of the BLM called "South Mesa" where I am....these campers are along the east rim of the reservoir.  They look like they are parked REALLY, REALLY close together from this angle - or they look like bumper cars!, but actually, they have a pretty good amount of space between them.  Still too close for me for several reasons - one being my great RV dog, Nikko. He really isn't happy when anyone is too close to the RV.  After all,  he's a guard dog!  So I wouldn't want to disturb others with his barking....and there's just no need to stress him out, too.  So, our spot on the hill, with the great view and no neighbors, is just fine for us!  There are many outlaying areas within this BLM property in which to camp, too.  

There aren't a lot of campers here yet....but little by little more will arrive.  I think there were 504 vehicles of one kind or another here last year.  But it's a very large, spread out, area and it never seems actually "crowded".  Everyone maintains a good level of neighborly existence.  Many people park near long time friends and create little "compounds", i.e., a lot of the musicians park in one area, called "Music Row" so they can play and practice together easily.  

For those of you who are new to my blog, I'll highlight some of the many activities that go on around this particular area of the Imperial Dam LTVA.  It's unlike any other BLM in the country that I've ever heard of.  The long time winter dwellers - 15-25-35 seasons for many of them! - have really turned this into a "community".  

From the South Mesa hub area:
Halloween Party
Potlucks, including a huge Thanksgiving potluck
Aerobics M-W-F mornings
Yoga M-W-F mornings
Music Jams - Sunday afternoons
Monthly Newsletter
Nightly CB Updates
Full Moon Dog Burns (bonfire)
4x4 Jaunts out into the desert
Group Hikes - once/week
Ladies Mountain Hikes - 2/month
Traxxas RC Car/Truck Races - 2/month
Flying RC Airplanes
Two Desert Golf Courses
Library/Free Book Exchange
Emergency Response Team
Large, Covered Pavilion
Restrooms & Showers (ambient temp water)
Dump Stations
Kayaking /Canoeing

Two miles down the road:
Mail Station, Thrift Store & Bookstore
Computer Room
Solar Sales
Blood Pressure Checks by a licensed RN every Monday morning
Church Services; Bible Study; Choir Practice
Ukulele Classes
Art Classes

Squaw Lake (very close by):
Beach, Boat Dock, Restrooms & Showers (hot/cold water)
Kayaking / Canoeing

Yuma Proving Grounds (Army base 5-6 miles - any U.S. citizen is welcome with proper I.D.):
Convenience Store
Movie Theater
Church Services

Hidden Shores Resort Community (about 4 miles):
Convenience Store
Grass Golf Course (very inexpensive!)

I will try to show you photos of many of these areas and activities as the weeks roll on.  You get all this for $180 for a 7 month stay (Sept 15-April 15)...that's less than $1/day!  Pretty good deal, huh? Plus you meet other folks with the "RV lifestyle mentality" who are all so friendly and helpful. Everyone is welcome! There is every kind of camper/boondocker here.  You see all kinds of rigs and set ups!  There aren't a lot of people here yet......but I will take this same photo as it starts to fill in with "snowbirds"!

Tour around with me as we take a look at some of the "dwellings" that are here at this point....

Various tents....

Old bus conversions -- that would be fun to do!

Cool enclosures....and he's ready to go sailing!

Several Class A's......lots of rigs/set ups use solar!

Love these little Scottie teardrops!

Then you have your more "creative" campers....
This is a home made out of a simple hauler.

This seems to follow the "tiny house" movement.
Three bicycles could equal three people living in this tiny house but I've
only seen one guy....perhaps one guy has three bikes!
He went on to enclose the rest of the right side area with that insulated blanket.
This is a VERY small space! favorite of the few campers that are here so far.
I'm not sure anything will surpass this 18' diameter tepee and it's conestoga wagon counterpart.
This fellow is more or less of the "shaman" mentality and lifestyle.  Interesting.  

So, you see, not much is off limits here.  If you can live in it, it can be here.  Makes life "on the road" a definite "experience"!  

Here's the top of the large pavilion, sticking up out of the "Gravel Pit", as it's known.  This is where the organized get togethers/potlucks are held, including yoga and aerobics. There's a road that leads down there, with a parking area, but it's somewhat "centralized" so many people can just walk to it.     

A lot of people have been curious about the golf course I play on every it is! OBVIOUSLY, it's a golf course - can't you tell???  LOL!  It's 21 holes...we only play for "birdie", which means you only get two tries on each hole to get the ball into the cup.  Not that easy on all these rocks. Generally, you only use a pitching wedge around the entire course.  The distances are probably like a regular par-3 course.  Don't really need any other clubs.  You can't "putt" on these "greens"...just have to chip it into the cup! I got two birdies my first time out this season!  YAY!  Although, two out of twenty one doesn't really sound that great!  LOL!  But I was happy about it! 

I want a repeat of the Hole In One I got last year!  

See....there really are flags and cups!

Here's the view of my spot from the opposite side of the reservoir.  
If they are here before others, those couple clear spots below where I am will be taken by
my Canadian friends who were here last year.  

This is the view of my place from the "hub" area.  
That's a very deep and steep area below me on this side which goes down to the reservoir level.

Don, a 35-year veteran of this BLM site was out flying is Red Baron kite yesterday!
It's often quite breezy here.

So, that wraps up my overview of this area of the BLM.  Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Stay tuned for all the goings on around here....AND BEYOND!

A GIANT THANK YOU to all who have ordered via my
Your orders go a long way in helping me keep this blog going!

So long for now from my perfect perch!
When the sun is setting in the opposite direction, it often hits this one range of mountains.
I don't know how that happens, but it's frequent....and very cool! 

A little Halloween Zen-Art...just for fun!
Happy Halloween!


  1. I can see why you are there. Looks as tho there is an interesting group of people who like it there, too! Thanks for the pictures!

  2. Thanks for the tour. Glad you like your spot! I'd Nikko feeling at home there this season? Enjoy, and get another hole in one!

  3. Enjoyed the review. Keep up the posts and pix's! Larry

  4. Nice and thanks for the info and swell pics. Hope to be out your way is a year or two.