Sunday, November 20, 2011

Amboy to Needles

Sunrise at Amboy Crater
Ya know, boondocking isn't so bad!  Camping overnight in the Amboy parking lot was fun, except for the other RV running its generator all evening and then again in the morning. Not that bad though and waking up to sunrise at Amboy Crater was pretty incredible.  After meditation and coffee, we hiked up to the top of Amboy crater.  Having hiked the Lassen cinder cone last July we found this to be a cake walk and a lot of fun to get some exercise.

 Eastbound BNSF waiting for crew at Needles
We were ready to head east by mid morning after a tasty breakfast with Sraddha at the helm.  Old route 66 was not very busy so we ambled east for about an hour then rejoined I-40 for another hour into Needles.  Our first view of the Colorado River.  Needles is an old town which thrived during the heyday of route 66 but mostly is a winter vacation spot now for snow birds.  The downtown is pretty empty but a few places left as reminders of bygone days. It also serves as the crew change spot for BNSF railroad crews, with over 100 trains passing through per day! No wonder we heard trains all night at Amboy.

Western Grebe at Havasu NWR
Our main reason for stopping here, other than not wanting to stay on the road too long, was the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.  After setting up camp at the Needles Marina RV park, we headed out over the old Route 66 bridge to Arizona to explore the refuge.  We found a marshy area with many different birds such as ths Western Grieb, coots, ducks, even a flock of snow geese flew overhead. Check out the Greib's red eye!   While Sraddha looked for birds i kept asking within as to what do want me to see?  The birds were mostly far away and the vegetation not too interesting at the moment plus it was grey light, hard for photos.  We returned to Ms. Toad and resumed exploration.

Sunset with coots
A bit further south we passed this dirt road but didn't stop.  Actually, i didn't see the turn so after about 3 more miles, Sraddha mentioned the turn we missed.  Back we went as dusk approached.  the location was called "Catfish Paradise". this a prime fishing location?  Didn't see any cats or any fish, and certainly no catfish.  In fact the place looked not too busy at all.  Perhaps it is just the slow season.  We parked Ms. Toad, and headed to the shore where we were greeted by suddenly beautiful sunset.  This is the answer to my the question: "What do You want me to see?"

Sunset over Havasu NWR

Back to the jeep for camera!  and here are the results. You can see larger versions on my Picasa web album site.  Back to RV for home cooked dinner and shower, then writing this blog.  What a day, and it is only the 4th day

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