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Journal Entries for 2011-01 RV Quartzsite MOE & DE
Summary: We went to the Castle Dome Museum in Kofa NWR.

Friday, January 21st: We left Parker about 10:00 a.m. When we got to the Quartzsite area, we found the fire station and the back road that led to the same MOE campsite as last year. We called Jim on the phone and he came out to lead us back to the MOE area. We really just needed to go a little further to find the MOE boxes that they'd set up. They would have easily led us to the MOE camp.

There were several campers already set up; Dick & Connie, Dan & Jan, and, of course, Jim & Jeannie. There were two new campers, Steve & Wendy and Doug & Nancy. They were part of Dick's & Connie's old group. We got to know them over the next few days. Great group!!

We visited a bit with Jim & Jeannie. Then we went down to the La Posa South area to visit with John & Tammy from our Roamer group. They'd spent a day or so with us earlier in the week with their new Fuso camper and were down in Quartzsite visiting friends. We visited them and met their friends. Then we went over to say HI to some other Roamer owners camped nearby, Jim and Bonnie. Jim was out, but after talking to Bonnie for awhile we realized that we met them at the 2009 Owner's Rally in Moab. Then we went back to camp.

We got back to camp in time for cocktail hour and the campfire. Mal & Jean and Bob & Shirley came in late and joined our group. Homer and his friend, Lou, came by. They spent the night in a hotel in Blythe (Homer's wife was with them and she doesn't camp).

Saturday, January 22nd: Dick led us to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. There were six vehicles: Dick & Connie in the lead car, Jim & Jeannie in their blue Jeep, Mal & Jean in their Toyota 4-Runner, Homer and Lou, us in the yellow Jeep and Dan & Jan brought up the rear. We left camp and drove south on Hwy 95 to MM55. We took the Castle Dome road into Kofa. Early American pioneers found silver and gold in the Kofa Mountains, starting a rush to settlement in search of treasure. Towns were born, thrived awhile, and died. The ghosts of some still remain. Nineteenth and 20th Century copper mines and cattle ranches remade the desert, as did the railroad. Large agriculture systems replaced expanses of scrub and sent meat, cotton, and produce to national markets. Military installations replaced the early fort at Yuma and, since WWII, Yuma Proving Ground has shared the borders of the Refuge. Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 for the conservation and development of natural wildlife resources, and for the protection of public grazing lands and national forage resources. The Refuge occupies 665,400 acres of desert and mountains. Once famous for gold mining, "Kofa" takes its name from the King of Arizona mine.

We stopped at the Historic Castle Dome City Museum. This was a really interesting stop. There were lots of buildings and the artifacts were very nicely displayed. It was well worth the $6/person to get in. In the church there was a sign that said "When a miner died in a mine, his boots were hung upside down, on the rafter nearest where his soul left his body -- thus, he was remembered". There was a pair of boots displayed that had been found in the Flora Temple Mine. We spent over an hour at the museum.

We continued on down the road towards Castle Dome. Dick found a nice wash -- perfect for a picnic. As we were eating lunch, Dan suddenly yelled out "Sheep, sheep". We all looked up and grabbed our cameras. A big-horned sheep was on the top of the hill above us. He walked around a little bit and put on a really nice show. We all got some great shots!!

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035-Mercantile store, Castle Dome Museum, Kofa NWR.jpg

044-Dresses, Castle Dome Museum, Kofa NWR.jpg

087-Big-horned sheep, Castle Dome Rd, Kofa NWR.jpg
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