Wednesday, February 23, 2011

High Deserts and Hi Jolly

Give me a hug you spiky devil!

The Tumbleweeds have broken new ground, forged a new path, gone where no man has gone before...not really, but I did hug a cactus.

We don't often get off the interstate. Sadly, back roads tend not to be the shortest route. The drive north out of Flagstaff, AZ on US 89 is one of the most beautiful we have driven. We were just east of that big, wondrous hole, the Grand Canyon. It was gorgeous high desert country, the colors all muted and wind washed. Those fabulous saguaro cactus that you thought only existed in Roadrunner cartoons, dirt in every color of the rainbow, a big blue sky (with clouds, *squints* at Los Angeles) and hardly any people. It's heaven!

Glen Canyon Dam Bridge
Near Page, AZ

These pictures don't do the land justice. The sand under these vibrant orange cliffs is green, pink and purple.
It is illegal to blow up a saguaro with explosives (called plugging) but I don't know
how else you would do it. 

The road less travelled

This is just like the fake tunnel Wile E Coyote puts up
for Roadrunner. 

Later, coming out of California in western Arizona we stopped in Quartzsite. This is where every old person in an RV comes to drive slowly. It's also the grave site of Hi Jolly. 

In 1855 the government had the idea to use camels to help build and supply a wagon route from Texas to California. A Syrian camel driver named Hadj Ali was hired to teach the the new US Camel Corps the finer points of camel driving. Hadj Ali soon became Hi Jolly to the army guys and things were going swell until the Civil War, which hogged up all the attention and the program was abandoned.

In typical ADD style, the government left the camels to fend for themselves in the desert as they went on to play war. The last wild camel was seen in 1941.

The only camels left are man-made. At least they don't spit on you.

I could climb it if I really wanted to...

Leaving the sunset behind.


  1. Makes me want to get up and go! We are being hit by a snowstorm & good thing you crossed Snoqualmie last week, today it is packed ice and snow! I remember how beautiful & peaceful the desert could be-another great post Tumbleweed!

  2. thanks for more warm pictures, but you didn't mention anything about dirt bikes?!

  3. @ Glen,oh yeah, how could I forget to mention dirt bikes....dirt bikes...dirt bikes...dirt bikes. There.Happy now? Knitting is safer you know!

    Thanks K9whskrs! It's like summer down here already!

  4. *beep beep* looks like paradise to me too, not just the roadrunner! all that rock, crystals...ooooooh...someone would have to pry me away...

    great shots stacey! sunset in the!

    and THE US CAMEL CORPS!!! haha!! i never heard of that! SO, i went to the link and it said some of the camels sold to the circus and some were set free...i wonder if there's a group of spitting, stinking, regurgitating camels hiding out there in the desert somewhere...hmmmmm...

    beautiful land out there...i bet that cactus needed that hug...i'm sure they don't get many...
    *beep beep*
    really :] (appreciate tumbling along...with you...) :laura

  5. hahaha Laura! I love the beep, beeps! Although I think I have more in common with Wile E Coyote, always optimistic that THIS time he'll get that Roadrunner (no matter how often he fails!)

  6. yeah stacey...the optimistic wile e. coyote...wouldn't mind being him instead of always dodging the's that mischievous side...of me...catch me if u can...

  7. beep beep! back!!

    ((when hugging those big spikey careful of the pricks! oh! i mean don't get pricked!))

    beep beep!

    i'll understand if u have to delete this... :]

  8. Are the cactus supposed to represent something? I am cornfused? Is the Camel made of beer kegs? that would be fitting somewhat? and of the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge has anyone ever jumped off it? Inquiring minds wanna know....

    Heywood Jablowme

  9. The cactus is just a cactus. Although it and the bridge have something in common because every time I see a cactus I want to throw myself on it and every time I drive on a bridge I want to drive off it. Good thing I don't drive!

  10. Please tell about the camel what is it constructed of? Looks like beer kegs to me..

  11. It's painted wheels. You must have lost your parts ninja skills!


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