As we finished up our time at the Lake Cabin, we headed back out through the tunnel and motored further up the Colorado River. You’ve probably noticed that it was a simply gorgeous day for this excursion.
Our next destination was a refuge BAR (Burned Area Rehabilitation) site. It was located on the east side of the river across from Picacho State Recreation Area.
There was a wildfire in this area in 2013, and efforts are being made to clean parts of it up and replant cottonwood trees. Inmates from the Yuma Prison that have been trained as fire crews have spent about ten weeks helping with the cleanup and replanting. How they are transported out here in the middle of nowhere is another whole story that I won’t go into today.
Brownshirt Chris is a temporary employee of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and he is heading up this rehabilitation. I refer to him as the ‘tree’ man, and I was happy to find out what exactly he does. He gave us great insights to what is being attempted. I just wish we had this understanding at the beginning of our tour of duty rather than at the end.
It was then time to head back across the river to the lower boat dock of Picacho State Recreation Area for a picnic lunch, and to visit their much appreciated pit toilets. We had been instructed by Vance to bring enough water and food on this trip for two days, just in case. That seemed a little odd to us, but it became more obvious why as the day went on.
The last stop for us after lunch before heading back to Meer’s Point was the historic Norton’s Landing. This place was very important in the late 1800’s during the mining and steamboat era on the river. That was, of course, before all the dams were constructed along the river.
The landing is presently owned by the man that until recently ran boat tours out of Martinez Lake. It was a lunch stop on his tours. There are no trespassing signs posted all over, but the man is a good friend of the refuge, so we felt comfortable walking around. All the old artifacts are especially interesting if you’re one of those people that really likes old rusty stuff. Me, not so much.
It was on the way back that the engine on the jet boat began to have some problems. It didn’t seem to be able to pick up any speed. That was a concern as we slowly tried to get back down the river. The caution to bring plenty of water and food was brought home to us. Then, all of a sudden, the engine kicked into gear and we blasted through the water. There had been thoughts of stopping at the site where Chris was on the way back, but Norm said there was no way he was stopping for anything for fear the engine would die. Thankfully, it was a swift return to Meer’s Point.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank wildlife specialist Vance for arranging this great tour, and Norm for being our captain of the ship. What a grand time I had. A good memory to take away with me from Imperial NWR.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy