Just HOW dry is the desert?

‘How Bad Is the Western Drought? Worst in 12 Centuries, Study Finds.”

Fueled by climate change, the drought that started in 2000 is now the driest two decades since 800 A.D. The megadrought in the American Southwest has become so severe that it’s now the driest two decades in the region in at least 1,200 years, scientists said Monday, and climate change is largely responsible.The drought, which began in 2000 and has reduced water supplies, devastated farmers and ranchers and helped fuel wildfires across the region, had previously been considered the worst in 500 years, according to the researchers.’ NYtimes Feb14/22

It is quite an understatement that the desert is dry, but this study shows that it is dryer than it has been in a VERY long time.  We have noticed evidence of dead cacti everywhere out here.

We have spent 4 days at Alamo lake, which has become a “do not miss” for our future trips. It is an ATV Mecca, as well as bass fishing. (well… and lesser known rock hounding🙄) 

 The lake is actually a reservoir formed from a dam blocking the Bill Williams river.  You would never know a drought was going on as the ATVs, after zooming around the dusty desert all day feel the need to wash off their vehicles before heading back  into the dusty desert the next day.  Although I guess we are biased…. We never wash our vehicles.

We have sat each of the past evenings and watched the moon just pop up on the horizon… as if the curtain was opening for a show.  I only wish I knew how to get  a good picture of the moon that looked vaguely like it looked to me.

We have been on an 4 day search for the elusive petrified palm root, which is known to be scattered over the hilltops overlooking the Santa Maria valley.  To begin with it took awhile to figure out which one was the Santa Maria valley, vs the date creek valley and the Bill Williams valley.

The first 2 trips out we followed the map which was quite confusing as the “roads” are just ATV roads and all it takes is about 10 atvs going over a new path to make it look like a road.  On the third day I discovered that THIS book included a GPS coordinate.  It was easy to get to the GPS coordinate, but we found no petrified palm room and we were miles from where the map had “led” us.

On the fourth day we decided to take the difference between the GPS and the map and bingo we found lots off what we THINK might be palm root petrified. Then again we are going by sketchy pictures we have found online

sketchy online picture

Oh and we are back in Burro country. From where we are camping we can watch a large herd of burros wander down to the lake.

The Alamo lake campground is filling up today as we are leaving. We had not noticed that it was Presidents day weekend, but good timing. Apparently this is the weekend that all those who live in the area come to dirt bike and ATV. The way it was explained was that instead of all the grey wave touring the area in side by sides, this will be the younger crowd and moving MUCH MUCH faster. So good time to leave.  We never know when you reach a peak where you cannot see the ground on the other side….. 🤔🤔How DO you know that someone is not coming up the other side?

a side by side parked next to us…. WOW named after our grandson 😀🤔

When we were in Quartzsite, some friends took us on an adventure to see a watering system out in the desert for the wild animals. Large panels of corrugated metal with some sort of drainage system and a huge tank, and then a watering trough.

I think this means…. don’t shoot the animals who have come down for a drink.

Sadly the trough was dry when we were there. dry dry dry.

Another stop we made was to see “bowls” in the rock, likely the indigenous way of grinding grains and corn.

We are having a great winter down here.

Thanks for reading… Janet Ken and tucker….who are somewhere between Phoenix and Tucson in a wind storm right now

3 thoughts on “Just HOW dry is the desert?

  1. The wind continues to increase and will become a bit frightening later on….that is what the wine is for me thinks. The rain was wonderful to see today.


  2. We DO often catch and release….we tend to give the rocks a second chance, and a good scrub and if they do not make the grade… we toss them, likely adding much confusion to campers who stop by next. I have put my lip gloss and sunscreen away for the day, as it is now raining. Perhaps my blog made it rain,…. what do you think 🙂


  3. Are you “catch and release” for the many rocks you find or do you have to add air to your tires and gas to your tanks -(tanks) to bring all your treasures home? I had to put sunscreen and lip gloss on after reading this desert story. Woh,,, when it’s so dry the cactus die… seriously! It really goes to show how travel and adventure are an attitude and a focus sometimes. You guys sound totally happy and content… it’s so great. My favourite part of this tho has been the rock holes for grinding. It looked like such a communal place… good view, side by side, meditative…. so much history and culture just right there…. ghostly wafts. Thanks for sharing all you share… Totally first on my list of things to read when I see them pop up! News of home… minus 16 and ice from repeated melts…. restaurants opening up to max capacity —- I’m not ready for it. The odd maskless person talking loud and wandering forever in the stores… power tripping. Some of my very gentle quiet loving dancers feeling like they want to wring a few necks. Covid is on my street. A sense of bizarre – or at least surreal – and I turn to go back into the cave. Be well!


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