Wednesday 22nd April
We left Benson and the Butterfield RV Park this morning. It is very well looked after park with great facilities, including the onsite Observatory, the only problem is it's proximity to the railway and noise of the trains coming through town blowing the hooter, it seems to be worse at night than in the daytime. Travelling on the I-10 towards Phoenix we picked up the I-8 and headed west through the Sonoran Desert. Lots of Saguaro Cactus fields
and the Maricopa Mountains to our right. At Gila Bend we turned North along the US-85 - Butterfield Trail. Very gusty winds blowing the RV about. At Buckeye turned onto the I-10 west to Blythe, just over the Californian border. Along the I-10 we saw quite a few sand twisters blowing about the desert. A long days drive, arriving at Mayflower Park at 4.45pm.
Met Bob from California, he is travelling around hiking, biking and canoeing. He has travelled around the US a lot and gave us advise on what to see and do. We had chicken and prawn barbecue for our 36th anniversary dinner and watched the sunset go down over the mountains.
Thursday 23rd April
Mayflower is a county park situated right at the edge of the Colorado River in Blythe.
The site is very pretty and very green with large open grass fields for camping - Sandy is enjoying the fields, she thinks she is in a park like back at home - which makes a nice change from the sandy desert conditions. There is also a lagoon at the side of the river. It's a very quiet spot about 6 miles from the town, away from the main roads and there is no train noise! There are plenty of eucalyptus trees around to provide shade and and an abundance of brightly coloured birds. In a tree nearby there is a nest of three Great Horned Owls, so cute.
There are mountains either side of the river giving breathtaking views all around. The park does not have many people camping here at the moment, we have a big open area. There is a boat launch ramp and Sandy had a swim in the river from there this morning. Just like the ford in Canon Hill Park, except the Colorado is just a bit bigger than the river Rea. One of the people here on the site came over to say hello with his American cocker Spaniel called Precious, very cute. The two dogs had a runaround and play for a while but like most cockers they are more interested in humans and Precious ended up sitting on Tony's lap.
Bob came over for an early evening beer. He had been kayaking on the river.
Friday 24th April
Tony completed a bit of DIY this morning. The engine grill is widely spaced and the engine is very exposed to the dirt and dust of the road, plus all the insects getting in there. The engine is now protected with a mesh grill and it looks much better and it should keep the flying critters out. The binoculars are proving very useful here for bird-spotting, seen this morning - Vermillion Flycatcher, bright red head and chest, Yellow Wagtail, Red Winged Blackbird, Yellow Headed Blackbird, Mourning Dove, Common and GreatTailed Grackle, Killdeer, a type of plover. Went into Blythe to get groceries at Albertsons. Bob came for dinner, the wind got so we eat inside.
Saturday 25th April
We have decided to stay on here we like it so much. More bird spotting this morning, saw a pair of Turkey Vulture's, although it is very difficult at a distance to distinguish them from Hawks.
Had a chat with Park Ranger John and he ran through the types of animals found in the park, beaver, three types of fox, coyote, raccoons, big bull frogs (we can hear their bass sounds at night coming from the lagoon) and of course snakes. Bob left this morning to make his way back to San Diego, we hope to catch up with him later in the year.
The morning was sunny and warm but the wind got up again this afternoon and it became cloudy. We can see sand swirls in the distance because the area is desert except for the land near the river that is irrigated . The irrigation system allows grass and alfalfa to be grown for animal feed.