Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Monday, March 9, 2015

Painted Desert

After spending the day at the Date farm and driving around looking at some of the farmland in the valley we decided a day in the desert was required.

 On our way North on I95 we saw the Bridge to Nowhere.  The builders of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco used this design as their inspiration.  This bridge spans the old Gila River bed.  The river was diverted and a new bridge was built however the new bridge was wiped out by a flood in the 1990's.
This bridge is now closed and condemned but serves as a tourist attraction.
 This little church was on our way so we stopped in and signed the guest book.  3 rows of pews, seating for 2 on each side of the aisle.
Other than a tourist attraction not sure if it serves any purpose unless for a real small wedding.
 Even 2 in each pew is a squeeze.
 Preaching from the pulpit.
 Here is a shot of the irrigation pipes. A main line with feeder pipes running down the field.  They are laid down after seeding and then taken up again before harvest.  Pretty much all the fields are irrigated in this manner.
There are some fields that appear to simply be flooded from irrigation spillways located on the corners of the fields.  The fields are as level as a tabletop and have small hills of dirt all around the field.  Open the spillway and let the water flood the field and then let it soak in.  Given the sandy base under the top soil the water simply soaks down.  No standing water here.
Its obvious that the GPS is used for levelling the land and also for seeding as every row is perfectly straight.

After an hours drive we arrived at the Painted Desert.  Its pretty obvious how it got its name.

We took the 1.2 mile hike through the desert.  We had our eyes peeled as a sign on the washrooms said a Rattle Snake was spotted on March 1.
Snakes are not to common in the winter but start to make their appearance once the night time temps are consistently in the mid 50's.  Most days we have been here the night time temps have been 55 plus and daytime temps are 90ish.  Yes its a dry heat but its still damm hot in the sun.  

The desert is starting to bloom.

Not far from the Painted Desert is Lake Martinez which has been formed courtesy of one of the many dams on the Colorado.
There were some big beautiful houses, this one being a good example.
Not more than a block away were some old houses and trailers that looked ready for the wrecking ball.
 Lots of fishing in this area.

We spotted this way off in the sky when we first got to Yuma.  Our drive north brought us up and close to the Eye in the Sky.
This is apparently used by the Border Patrol to keep an eye on the desert for illegals and drug traffickers.

It was a fun day and nice to get back to hiking through the desert although it is getting way to hot for our usual 4 hour hikes.  In Tucson and Gold Canyon we were getting 10-12,000 steps on Lori's Fit-Bit on most days and up to 20,000 on a few occasions.  Here the heat has made us a little less energetic and our morning walk with Charli has got us to 6,000 steps and thats about it.

Next up the Yuma Car show.