May Flowers in the Virgin River Gorge – May 2022

Views from Black Rock Road

Spring has arrived at Black Rock Road in northwestern Arizona where Clifford and I are camped. The acres of creosote that surround us are now in full bloom, the tiny yellow blossoms like sunshine sprinkled across the landscape.

Surrounded by Blooming Creosote

Warmer days encourage us to spend more time outdoors, including a picnic at Cedar Pockets, the campground in the Virgin River Gorge, about 10 miles to the south of our campsite.

View of the Virgin River Gorge from Cedar Pockets

Clifford takes his kalimba so he can accompany himself as he sings while I hike down to the river. The trail is narrow and steep in spots, but it feels good to be outside and to the see the mesas from the river bottom vantage point.

Clifford Playing and Singing with Kalimba at Cedar Pockets
Views of Mesas from River Bottom
Virgin River

I am not the only one enjoying the river. A cow and her calves splash across the river. When the twins see me, they stop to stare like I’m an alien, which I am to them. Then in mirror reflection of one another, their heads turn to watch the direction that big mom is taking. So fun to see them, as I play a silly game, called Cow Game, with a couple family members, and today I win Cow Game!

Virgin River
Today I Win “Cow Game”

It is delightful to be near the river with views of the mesas all around, and the frosting on the cake is to find flowers – globe mallow and desert marigolds. Although Cedar Pockets is not so very far from Black Rock Road, it is a very different ecosystem.

Globe Mallow at Cedar Pockets
Globe Mallow at Cedar Pockets
Desert Marigold at Cedar Pockets
Desert Marigold at Cedar Pockets

While Black Rock Road vegetation is acres and acres of creosote, the gorge displays a greater variety of desert plants with Joshua trees and many types of cacti, including cholla and a blooming hedgehog cactus along the trail from the upper campground to the lower camping area where we are picnicking.

Hedgehog Cactus in Bloom Along the Trail
View of the Virgin River from the Trail

For weeks we have been talking about camping in northern Nevada on our way to Montana for the summer. We thought we would leave in April, but northern Nevada has been too cold and snowy, and now it is May and the place we thought we’d go — the Ruby Mountains — is still too cold and snowy. However, Montana is beckoning and it will soon be too warm here in Arizona anyway. So, we begin preparations to leave our winter home. Besides picking up our mail, we also take a day for errands with a picnic of sorts at the back of the laundromat, and Clifford brings the kalimba and sings. Who can resist a picnic and music? Not us, apparently. πŸ™‚

Our friend David pulls out just a few days before our departure date. It’s been good having a friend as a neighbor for the winter. We wish him well and safe journeying. Very soon Clifford and I will also be saying good-bye to Black Rock Road. Although the Ruby Mountains and Ruby Valley are out of the question for us, still too cold and snowy there, we know other places are waiting to be explored.

Saying good-bye to Black Rock Road

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