This is the trail I walked down early in the morning heading out into the desert. I prefer early mornings in the desert, it's cooler, and there's a better chance of seeing some animals to take a picture of. I don't really like walking on prepared trails, because there's nothing new and everybody's been there. But when there's as much Cholla Cactus around as there is here, it's a lot safer on the trails.
When I went for a walk in the desert at Box Wash the other day, I ran into a guy that is the trail designer for the Maricopa County parks department. Maricopa County is predominantly Phoenix, but it encompasses a large area, including where I was in Wickenburg.
I've known for years that Box Wash is being turned into a park, and he enlightened me about a few of the details that I'd never heard before. He told me that the Box Wash Park will encompass about 11,000 acres and will be the only Park in Arizona that has trails for off-road vehicles, and that was mostly what he was doing at Box Wash was surveying the trails.
He told me that it would probably be another two or three years before construction will start on the park, at which time we boondocker's will be forever banished from our beloved Box Wash free boondocking area. And remember, it was always a free boondocking area because it was managed by the BLM and was donated by the Department of Interior to Maricopa County for financial reasons.
He also mentioned that as far as he knew, it would be 20 years or so before all of the plans for the park would be completed, which included things like straightening out a couple of dangerous curves that are on the main road coming to the park. All that was highly contingent upon the amount of money that would be available to complete the park.
And last but not least he told me something I had never heard of before. I was telling him how I like to take pictures of the Sandhill cranes, and he told me about Wilcox, Arizona, and how some areas there have more Sandhill cranes than the Bosque Del Apache... Well, that sure got my attention, and when I got home, I looked it up on the Internet, and sure enough, it sounds true. So there's definitely a visit to Wilcox, Arizona, in my future this winter.
He was a really nice guy, and we talked at length about RVing, working for the government, and, of course, the future of Box Wash. So at least I came away knowing there would be a couple of years left of great boondocking there, but all things must come to an end, and free boondocking at Box Wash is one of those things.
This is the Maricopa County Trail guy that I talked to. He's driving up the Wash, probably looking for ways to make things safer for all the lunatics that are running around on off-road vehicles now days.
Vulture peak, it's the predominant mountain in the area. I can't believe my blog post, and my snapshots actually match up today.
Box Wash has lots of Saguaro Cactus, and way too much Cholla Cactus. I wonder how much Cholla the county will leave around? The stuff really is dangerous for little kids and pets.
The hills in the desert like these, are not any fun to walk up. There's usually too much Cactus, the rocks are often unstable, and it's too easy to get on a rattlesnake. I'll stick to the hills in Colorado.
These folks will be walking up a hill that I'm coming down from.
I don't know why, but there's something I find appealing about the harshness of the desert. But I also like the harshness of the high lonesome in Colorado. Maybe its my desire to go places where most people don't want to go.