Saturday, January 28, 2012


We’re still hanging out in Quartzsite.  We’ve had a couple more game nights with our friends.  Last night we did a big batch of laundry then had supper in the little café attached to the laundromat.   We’ve been to the big tent a few times and several of the other sales areas but haven’t spent too much yet.  I bought a nice sturdy set of aluminum steps for when our steps are too high from the ground, a couple of new style LED replacement bulbs and some tee shirts for both of us.
We went back to the La Paz outdoor market today since the weather was so nice and we needed groceries in Parker. The selection here in Quartzsite is limited and expensive.   We took the opportunity to have lunch at the Crossroads Café which was very busy.  The food seemed pretty good for the price, too.  For a change of scenery, we returned home via Poston then Ehrenburg which is near the California line. 
I’ve had a phone call and an email wondering where the heck we are and is it true your place is for sale, from different ATV club members.  I did speak to several people in the weeks ahead of our departure telling of our plans for visiting Quartzsite but I guess it didn’t get all around.  We’ve been twelve days since dumping our tanks which is doing really well.  Aileen has several strategies in place to conserve water but I think tomorrow will have to be the day.  It can be quite a long process getting to the dump station if you go at the wrong time of day.  The lineups can be huge.  Last time we found midafternoon to be best.
Looking down our row toward the big tent.  Jim's osprey flying in the foreground

I hiked up to the top of Q Mtn one afternoon, this is looking down towards where we are parked

The big tent surrounded by RV sales and other vendors

looking to the south

If you look closely, you will see some golf browns (sort of like greens, I guess)

This guy flies over periodically

We had a nice sunrise yesterday morning, normally I just see it out the bedroom window.  I did run outside with the camera then jumped back in bed

La Paz market

Colorado river and RV parks just north of Parker

Outside the big tent

Inside the big tent

One of the outside vendors

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


From the left ours, Jacquie and Jim then Dian and Maurice parked with thousands of others in Quartzsite, AZ

We’ve been boondocking in La Posa West at Quartzsite for a week already without internet.  After experiencing more difficulty in finding free internet, I went and bought a personal WiFi hotspot (MiFi) from Verizon.  We’ll be able to use it all the way to the Canadian border then cancel the service until we return south next time.   
We had a busy few days before leaving Florence.  Mitzy went to the vet for her annual teeth cleaning and was fortunate in that she didn’t need any further work.  We did a lot of sorting and packing with the possible sale of the lots in mind and to travel over to Quartzsite for a couple weeks.   We will have some big decisions to make before we leave for Canada around February 23.  What to try to keep and what to dispose of.  The ATV is the really big one for me.
We’ve had several games nights here with Jacquie and Jim and Dian and Maurice.  While Mexican Train was our initial focus, Skip Bo has also been really popular.  We went up to the La Paz market Saturday morning north of Parker but mostly just looked.   On Sunday, Aileen and I drove over to Bouse, poking around the side roads a bit.  We had a nice lunch in an old Mom and Pop restaurant that serves breakfast all day.  Yesterday we went down to Yuma which is about a one and a half hour drive.  We visited Earl and Sharon who we originally met in Cluxewe Campsite on northern Vancouver Island.  They were responsible for us buying the motor home from Sharon’s sister.  They’ve been wintering in Yuma for years.  We had a nice lunch in a pub then did a bit of shopping before heading home in time for supper.  It was quite windy all day, but worse down south.
I bought a couple of electric blinds for blocking the sun when we’re driving the motor home and Jim has kindly been installing them.  I’ve made a couple of other small purchases here during the RV show but so far have kept it down.  We’ve had quite a bit of cloud, lots of wind including dust and a small shower since arriving in Quartzsite but the weather is forecast to get much better over the next few days.  Today was really nice.

A little wildflower we saw on our trip to Bouse

There were a lot of these trees blooming along the Gila River just north of Yuma.  There were a bunch of bee hives located close by.

Broccoli and lettuce fields along the road side just north of Yuma

That would be the old highway bridge in the background

Friday, January 13, 2012


Our neighbour Carol found this Giant Water Bug in her carport the other day so we sent one of the local dogs over to check it out 

Things are starting to happen here after a period of not too much doing.  Aileen attended the monthly park board meeting Tuesday to support her request for one of the swimming pools to have the temperature lowered to swimming temperature as the current temperatures at all the pools are too  warm for her MS.   Her efforts were in vain even though there was a fair bit of support via a petition.
I’ve been ATV riding several times and there has been some frustration with some other riders not following proper protocol.  When it is dusty, we have fairly large gaps between riders to let the dust settle.  Because of that, when we come to a trail junction, each rider must wait until the one behind has seen which direction to turn.  This is usually more of a problem with large groups but the other day with only eleven riders we had a problem twice in about two miles.  The first time it took quite some time but we did find each other.  The second time, the leader noticed he only had two riders with him fairly soon and was able to come back to find the rest of us.  In the second instance there was a multitude of choices in which trail to take.    There were close to thirty riders lined up at yesterday’s gathering so Jim and I said we were going off on our own.  We quickly departed before anyone else decided to come along and we had a good ride.  Since we had determined earlier we were going in a small group so Jim could do a little gold panning, I took my good camera, several lenses and tripod.  While the idea of riding by oneself is very intriguing, it is just not really wise.  There was the case of the guy who rolled his machine a while back and my old friend Ken and I were able to rescue him. It could have been a real problem since he was totally trapped underneath his ATV and could only get out with our help.  At the monthly ATV potluck, that chap expressed his gratitude several times to me.  He was so lucky that his only injury was a broken collar bone.   His wife is still very angry at him for being so foolish by riding too fast for conditions – period.   I heard of another resident in this park who rolled his machine on top of himself and it was several hours before someone found him and was able to get him out.
Jim had a flu bug or something for several days and I had a sinus issue then a sore back so we finally got together the other night for Mexican Train.  Jim won followed by Jacquie, Aileen and me.  You’d think as score keeper I’d be able to have a better showing!   We will get more games in the next couple weeks as we are heading to Quartzsite on Tuesday for a week or two with Jacquie and Jim and will meet their son’s in laws, Maurice and Diane, there.   
I have been polishing the motor home using a product called Protect All and it is so easy to use.  Well, with my sore back maybe not that easy, but you just rub it on and rub it off  with a micro fiber cloth.  It does an excellent job of cleaning and the surface doesn’t have to be totally clean.  I wipe the worst of the dust off with a soft cloth then apply the Protect All.  It goes fast but there is a lot of surface on the motor home.  Of course, I’m just getting it all nice and clean to go sit in the dusty desert for two weeks!
Aileen and I decided to put our property in the park on the market, so we did the deed today using an agent here in the park. For those of you who thought you’d come visit us some day, it’s probably too late.   We plan to go back to our original plan of exploring more of the southwest.  We will boondock more and try to plan some RV park stays periodically for a week or maybe as long as a month so we can thoroughly explore different areas.   With having our current set up, we seem to pretty much stay just in this area as it is easier than moving everything back into the motor home for a little trip, then back into the park model on our return.
We took a drive over to Casa Grande today after signing the real estate listing as I was craving a buffet fix at the Golden Corral.  By being very careful, Aileen was able to find enough gluten free food.  Looking for a light supper tonight, Aileen made us eggs benny and were they ever good.  She’d bought some gluten free hamburger buns made by Kinnickinick out of Edmonton, AB and I remarked they would make really good eggs benny buns.  She went online for a recipe and minutes later the most excellent benny’s were served.

Along the Gila River near South Butte

Me, photo by Jim

And Jim coming down the rock ledge; it was more exciting going back up!

In Donnelly Wash near South Butte are these beautiful rock formations

There's just the one area, no others like it anywhere close that I'm aware of

A cactus garden in the wild.  There are ocotillo (the tall thin stalks), cholla, saguaro and a barrel cactus.

This is last season's fruit on a fish hook barrel cactus.  Note the curved spines

Saturday, January 7, 2012

SITTING IN NEUTRAL (or so it seems)

I went riding with the group on Tuesday January 3 and was the leader again.  One huge advantage to being leader is being up front out of the dust.  I get to stop for pictures and everyone stops behind me.  The good part of that is the group stays together much easier.  If I’m in the middle of the group and stop for a picture,  often the group in front gets a long way in front and if they turn off and the last person doesn’t wait at the junction, it makes it difficult to decide which way to turn.   Because of that, I don’t often stop and just get frustrated about missing a good shot.  There were 29 ATVs out on Thursday so they split into two  groups to be more manageable. 
I didn’t go out Thursday or today as my back has been sore for the past several days.  I think it must be a bug of some kind.  I had a sore left little finger for a few days then my sinuses started leaking a lot.  Then my lower back got sore and  I seem to have some sciatica with pain running down both legs.  I went in a hot tub last night but it wasn’t very warm.  Three of the pools are way to war for Aileen so we have gone twice to one that is broken and has no heat.   It has been holding at 72F which Aileen finds good for exercising and I found fine for swimming one night.  I didn’t chance it last night since my back was unhappy in general.
We have a busy week and a half then we hope to get over to Quartzsite for a few days and maybe do some travelling and exploring for a few days.  I’ve been doing lots of reading lately, enjoying our well stocked park library.

The green seat is for the driver, the one out front is for the passenger.  Looks like an exciting ride  

This home built rock crawler is powered by a 6.0 l Chev V8 and is all hydraulic.  When running, it will raise up to 52 inches of ground clearance.  The owner is from Nebraska and said he built it in six months.  He is boondocking in the desert in a huge fifth wheel pulled by a tandem axle highway truck

Note that each wheel is individually driven by hydraulic motors

We revisited the Top of the World Trail on Tuesday, that's the Thumb on the left 

When coming through Box Canyon, some of the guys spotted what I missed, namely these eight bighorn sheep.  When they told me about the sheep, I went back with a couple of the guys to get some pictures

Monday, January 2, 2012


We took our son Richard and granddaughter Georgia up to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix this afternoon for their flight back home to Victoria, BC.  The week went by in a blur.  We had lunch in a New York style deli in Chandler called Chompie’s and the food was excellent.  I would eat there again except it is a bit out of the way for us.  Maybe one of the other three in the greater Phoenix area is closer.
Richard and I took the Christmas decorations down yesterday morning.  After bacon and eggs for breakfast yesterday, we were going to go for a walk out back but it was too windy so we settled for a stroll through Tierra del Sol instead.  We chatted with Nelson and Jerry along the way.   We also stopped and visited Uncle Jim J through the motor home window for a while.  He is still ill with what he thinks is the flu.
Carol from next door came by with her big beetle so I took a few pictures of it.  I got to show her my tarantula pics.   Richard went online and identified it as a Giant Water Bug.  Richard and I went to Coolidge after lunch and gave the car a wash, put gas in it and filled both ATV gas cans as well.   I took Richard for a tour around the Del Webb, Anthem, housing development on the way.  We poked around some Florence back streets on the way home.
The rest of this week promises to be quiet but the next two after that will be quite busy.  We’ll have to see how it goes.

Someone decorated this Ocotillo out in the desert behind our park.  Notice the water and dish for the dogs who are walked out there

One of our cotton gins in operation

The ball came out of the water pretty fast when held at the bottom of the pool

Georgia loves the pool