Friday, June 10, 2011

Camping in HotWell Dunes, Arizona. This year their two hotsprings where filled!

So, on our 2010 Roadtrip we also visited HotWell Dunes in Arizona. Jerry visited it 9 years back and loved it.  Last year, we loved the camping in the desert part, but, the hotpsrings where dry.  The hotsprings here were discovered when they were drilling for water or oil, and came up with natural flowing hotsprings years and years ago. But, with the changes in the water tables last year, they stopped flowing. So, we went back to see if they had started flowing again.. Well, you can see from the pictures, there is water in their two hottubs, and they're HOT! I can hardly get in. 

They built a pump powered by solar panels since last year. So, the environment's changed to such a degree that that they cannot flow on their own any longer, so, they've put in this pump.  The system is still one which naturally has the water flowing from one tub to out the reservoir that the animals live off of.  Last year the place was very dry compared to this year, the desert actually looked "green" this year! So, the water flow/pump stops when the sun goes down, the tubs empty, then the flow starts again in the morning, so they water is always fresh! NICE! 

The solar system they designed and build which sits right next to one of the two hotspring tubs.  (Duke's not sure what to make of the pumps system in the cage.. he circled it slowly.  We often wonder what really he's thinking!)

Hotwell Dunes is classified as BML land, a Recreation Area.  It's full of sand dunes, where during the week day there are tons of people with the ATVs and dirtbikes having a blast. We like the week days best as it's empty.  There are only 10 camping spots, each one is really BIG.  In a typical RV Park (which we avoid), they'd cover the ground in cement, cut down the trees and collect money from 100s RVs the that same area.. The BML lands are all through the states, this one didn't have any drinking water or showers, just dug toilets.  We stayed last year for a couple of nights as well in our Westy.  We love camping alone in the desert.  Again, at an RV Park, you would have water & hydro, and you'd pay $30 dollars a night, verses what we paid, of $3 dollars a night..   The State Parks, which we also stay at alot, they provide hydro and power and nice showers and drinking water, they charge half of RV Parks, and they are MUCH nicer too as they often offer trails and keep the beauty of the nature around them.  (You'll see as the two we stayed at in New Mexico are State Parks..)

We tried riding our bikes, i couldn't do it, as the sand was too deep, but, Jerry's very stubborn, so, he did for a while.  Duke just ran around, I think he was laughing at/with the both of us.  So, we walked and soaked, and Duke & I went for runs each morning.  Duke runs after the biggest Jack Rabbits I've ever seen, their ears alone were each over a foot long, and their Jack Rabbit paws were often larger then Duke's paws.. He never catches them, and he loses them quickly, so, I'm not worried for the Rabbits or for Duke if he catches one! :)

 Duke running FAST as we try to bike..
Jerry, very PROUD of himself for riding much further then I could in the sand.  (One stubborn man I married!).

 In the morning, looking at the sand is fun, you can see many many many different sizes and shapes of animal prints.
 I'm sitting in the shade by our our Campsite.
 The sand gets SO hot high noon that Duke can't walk on the sand..he hides in shade or under the RV.
 Different views through our desert.
It gets so hot, that you can feel the heat from the sand in waves.  The temperature was around 108, it would be in the air, and wafting up from the sand.. So, you get baked all around.  Very different having surround heat.. This was JUST JUNE, imagine August! AAAAAHHHHH  To sleep at night, you need to just use the trick we've been told of by others who live in very warm climates and don't have AC, pour some water on you, and DON'T dry it off.. it cools you down and enables you to sleep.. We didn't have a sheet with us, as what most do is dampen their sheet, that, with a hope for a little breeze at night, keeps you cool enough to sleep.  Being in the middle of the desert, you don't have any electricity to run the AC full time, and you should only run the generator for two hours.  As we both love the silence, we didn't really want to run the generator at all..  We ended up running it for just 30mins to get the air moving before we went to sleep.   We loved it.  Really get to experience the desert this way.
I've stayed at the Hyatt, in Desert Palm Springs in California, with all it's 5 star glory, i much preferred our Hotwell Dunes experience. 

OK! On to New Mexico next! Excellent camping & aliens!

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