Saturday, March 26, 2011

Playing in the Backyard

Well...sort of.

It's been a busy, yet uneventful couple of days. I should be hearing back any day now from the school in San Diego I went to before I moved to Charleston, to see if I have been re-accepted for the Fall 2011 semester or not. I just hope my wonderful (sarcasm) school in Charleston came through and did what I needed them to for once. I'm pretty anxious about the whole thing and I just wish I'd get that letter already, because I really would just like to finish college...WITH a degree.

To pass the time, I've been illustrating a few things to personalize my blog a little more, and make it pretty! I figure if I have the 3 years of graphic design skills to do it myself then I don't want to use something somebody else created, besides the fact that I can't find EXACTLY what I want and I don't want to do this thing half way. I'm VERY excited about it! :]

I also have a couple of other things I'd like to start adding to it when the design is all put together, basically I have big plans.

Speaking of plans...

We explored the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge today...which is just a few miles North of our hometown...basically our backyard.

Originally, the plan was to hike this mountain...Castle Dome.

But it was a WINDY day and we didn't think it would be a good idea to try and make the climb. There is a "ghost town" at the bottom of this mountain that we toured for awhile. The lady working there told us about a few different trails you can take through the Kofa mountains and old silver and lead mines that are scattered throughout the desert.

So what did we do?

We asked for a map, and changed the GPS icon from a car to a hawk.

And our day began with a 15 mile off road, 4WD, trek down dirt trails like....

This one! It was a rough ride but it was SO MUCH FUN, not to mention beautiful! A lot of people think the desert is just a bunch of dry, flat land covered in dirt, but there is so much more to see than that!

I was just bummed that I left my Nikon at home! We'd been planning on a rocky hike and I didn't want to risk dropping and breaking it!

Another view of Castle Dome
Ronnie's Cousin

Me and my sunglasses

Ronnie "This is serious business...We ARE the HAWK!"

We pulled off the trail and stopped to look at anything we found interesting. We hiked a short distance to a few mines we could see off the road. Most of the abandoned mines in this area date back to the late 1800's and are just really, really deep holes in the ground, but a couple are actually carved into the mountain and you can walk inside them.

Part of the "Tin Cup Mine"

Us at the entrance

A view from the entrance
Our goal was to go up to a bigger mine called "Big Eye" we drove until the trail ended then started hiking. It ended up taking a lot of hiking around to actually find it, but we did!

There was a neat little cabin you can stay the night in (for free, if you can find it!) an old shower house along with rain water retention tanks, a couple old collapsed cabins, and a few entrances to the mine. We didn't want to go too far into it because it was getting dark, so we signed the guest book in the cabin and headed back down to the truck.

 Eventually we made it back into town, but not before seeing a, much missed, beautiful Arizona sunset.

 We have talked about going back to see more tomorrow, but we are pretty exhausted. I know that IF we do go back I will be taking my good camera, so keep looking for some more photos of this amazing place...unless you absolutely HATE the desert...then you can skip over the pictures and just read the words...but even then what is the fun in that? ;]


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